PEEK

Marine Reservist Chases, Assaults Greek Orthodox Priest Whom He Mistook for an Arab Terrorist

Jasen D. Bruce hit the priest in the head with a tire iron, then chased him three blocks.

Alexios Marakis, a Greek Orthodox priest visiting the U.S., got lost in Tampa and tried to stop and ask directions from Marine reservist Jasen D. Bruce. But instead of offering help, “Bruce struck the priest on the head with a tire iron.” The reservist believed Marakis, who spoke limited English, was an Arab terrorist. Bruce chased the priest for three blocks, “and even called 911 to say that an Arabic man tried to rob him.” According to a news release:

“During the chase, the suspect called 911 and claimed an Arabic male attempted to rob him and he was going to take him into custody,” a Tampa Police Department news release states. “When officers arrived, the suspect claimed the man was a terrorist.”

Police arrested Bruce for “aggravated battery with a deadly weapon” and are investigating whether he committed a hate crime.

Faiz Shakir is the Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Editor of ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report.
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