Prosecutors Won't Charge 'Incompetent' Refugee Teen Who Brutalized Neighbor
St. Louis, MO – A teenage refugee was allowed to walk free after he allegedly bludgeoned his female neighbor in the face and head with a metal rod.
“He is on top of me. There was blood everywhere,” Alicia Clarke said of the horrifying attack, according to KSDK. “I was literally fighting for my life at that point.”
The violent altercation occurred on Feb. 17, after Clarke went out for a run.
When she got back home, she realized that her personal cell phone was missing and that someone had moved her shoes to a different location.
Clarke used the Find My iPhone app to locate the missing phone, and discovered that it was still on her property grid.
She then pulled out her work phone and dialed up the number of her personal cell.
“I opened my back door…and I hear it in my neighbor behind me’s backyard,” Clarke told KSDK.
She hopped over the fence between the yards, grabbed up her phone, and hopped back over.
That’s when her neighbor, a six-foot-tall teenage male, came over the fence behind her and tackled her to the ground, Clarke said.
“He knocked me down – pulling hair, kicking,” she recounted.
The suspect snatched her phone away from her and ran off, but returned a moment later armed with a metal rod, KSDK reported.
"I am on the phone with St. Louis police dispatch, making my way to my back door, when he comes back with a weapon,” Clarke explained.
The suspect then jumped on her, stabbing her in the face and head with the wooden-handled tool.
Clarke somehow managed to strip the weapon away from him and ran into her house.
“I think if I didn’t make it to my back door, I would not be standing here right now,” the battered victim told KSDK.
Clarke suffered a puncture wound to her face, which had to be stitched closed.
Doctors used staples to close a laceration on the back of her head, but there was “nothing they can do” about her broken nose, Clarke told KSDK.
She was covered in scrapes and bruises.
The suspect, who had taken off with Clarke’s second cell phone after the second attack, was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and third-degree assault.
But when Clarke went to juvenile court for the teen’s first scheduled hearing a few days later, she learned that the prosecutor had already dropped the charges against her attacker, KSDK reported.
The matter never even went before the judge.
According to Clarke, court personnel told her that the teen has an IQ of 49 and that he was found incompetent to aid in his own defense.
"The most hurtful thing of all of this is the dropped charges. That was much more hurtful than the physical assault," Clarke told KSDK. “It's not feeling safe and honestly feeling like I've been failed by the system.”
A court spokesperson refused to comment on the case because the suspect is a juvenile, but said that the court is left with “few options” in such situations, KSDK reported.
"In those instances, we work with child guardians and agencies to help with services outside the court system," the spokesperson said.
Clarke said that the teen broke into her vehicle on three occasions prior to the attack, and a neighbor said that the same suspect had also broken into her home in the past, KSDK reported.
“This is going to happen again,” Clarke said.
Her sister, Andrea Clarke Flatley, has posted updates on Facebook about the events that transpired since the charges were dismissed.
She described the suspect as a 15-year-old refugee from Somalia.
“He is 6’ and [approximately] 175lbs, much larger than my sister,” Flatley wrote. “The prosecutor sympathized with our frustration and explained that because he is a mentally handicapped, juvenile refugee, every safeguard available is to his benefit and to Alicia’s detriment.”
“She went on to tell us, VERBATIM, that even if alicia had been KILLED, the outcome would be the same and that this case would be dismissed,” Flatley added. “We never entered a courtroom, saw a judge, nothing.”
Clarke ultimately got a restraining order against her attacker, which he promptly violated, according to Flatley.
“Turns out it only took the kid 4 days to violate the restraining order,” she wrote in an update. “Tonight (2/26) SLMPD and SWAT stormed his house and took him back into custody…Let’s see how the prosecutors office handles this gift of a second chance they’ve just been given.”
It is unclear whether or not the teen is still in custody.