TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) --A 28-year-old Oak Forest police officer was arrested in connection with an attack on two teenagers in California. The victims said they were targeted because they were speaking Arabic.
Arthur Roman, of Tinley Park, his 25-year-old brother, Martin, and his brother's wife, Jessica, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery.
Huntington Beach police said officers responded to a report of a stabbing outside a 24-hour fitness center just after 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Karam Jarrah, 17, had been stabbed twice.
Jarrah said his brother-in-law, Asem Dghem, walked by the three suspects sitting in their car.
"He was like, 'What's up Obama bam?'" Jarrah said.
"They got *** all of a sudden out of the blue. We've faced this type of situation before," Dghem said.
Jarrah said the confrontation quickly turned violent and Roman pulled out a knife and stabbed him.
Police said after the fight, all three fled the scene. They were taken into custody a short time later.
Jarrah was taken to the hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening.
"They have to protect us, not stab us. He's a police officer, supposed to be a role model," Dghem said.
Investigators can't confirm that Jarrah and his brother-in-law were targeted because of their race. Police are not treating this as a hate crime because they say it was a "spur-of-the-moment" argument.
Oak Forest Police were notified of the incident and said they put Roman on administrative leave until the conclusion of an internal investigation.