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Police: Suspect in Hate-Motivated Assault at Large

Police say the suspect shouted racial slurs as they attacked a black victim

Brattleboro Vt Hate Suspect
Brattleboro Police Department

Police in Vermont say one suspect is in police custody and another is at large in a hate-motivated assault.

Brattleboro police say officers responded to Elliot Street Sunday evening around 9 p.m. for a report of an assault, where they found two victims.

Police say a male victim was randomly attacked and repeatedly struck with a beer bottle, while a female passerby was attacked because she was black. The suspects, an unknown man and a woman later identified as Mariam J. Belarj, allegedly shouted racial slurs as they assaulted the female, who police say is black.

The suspect ran away, and the victims were treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

State and county police helped Brattleboro track down Belarj, although it's not clear where she was arrested.

Belarj, 20, was held on bail after being arrested on a slew of charges, including hate-motivated disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, assault and robbery and possession of stolen property. It's unclear if she has an attorney or when her arraignment is scheduled.

The male suspect is still at large. He's described as having a blond ponytail and at least 6-feet tall.

Anyone with information is asked to call Brattleboro police at 802-257-7950.

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