Asma Jama was enjoying a meal at an Applebee's restaurant in Coon Rapids, Minnesota when a diner sitting at another table became incensed that Jama was speaking Swahili. To punish Jama for not speaking English in her presence, Jodie Burchard-Risch (43) allegedly smashed Jama in her face with a beer mug, leaving a deep cut on her lip that required 17 stitches.
From Minnesota Public Radio:
Jodie Burchard-Risch, 43, and her husband had been sitting in the booth next to Jama, who was with her cousins and nieces. The couple became upset when they heard Jama and her family conversing in a foreign language, according to a criminal complaint.
Jama said the couple told them to "go home." They said that "when you're in America you should speak English."
Jama, an ethnic Somali, came to Minnesota in 2000 from Kenya. She speaks three languages: English, Swahili and Somali.
"I'm home," she told Burchard-Risch at the Applebee's. "I can speak English, but we choose to speak whatever language we want."
Authorities say that's when Burchard-Risch hit Jama in the face with the glass mug.
Burchard-Risch (mugshot above, displaying a fascinating combination of negative emotions) was charged with third-degree assault.
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