Police: Denver Hookah Bar Assault Was Bias-Driven

Police Release Photo Of Suspect

Denver police are asking the public to help identify two men who assaulted a Moroccan immigrant in what investigators call a bias-motivated crime.

Police say the 22-year-old victim, Badr Belfageoua, was attacked early Saturday at Oasis Hookah bar, 1523 Market St., because he was foreign-born.

Belfageoua told 7NEWS he was at the bar with friends when he accidentally bumped one of the suspect’s chairs on his way to the bathroom. He said he tried to apologize, but the man shoved him.

"He immediately pushed me and started fighting. Then his friend actually came and knocked me out," Belfageoua said.

He suffered a concussion, bruises to his face and a split lip, but it’s what witnesses told him the men said after the fight that’s left the most disturbing mark.

"They were saying, 'This is what you get for coming to America.' People told me when they went outside they were making fun of where you were from and they said like, 'You come here, you get your ass kicked,'" Belfageoua said.

His friend snapped a picture of one of the men on his cell phone before the guys took off. The man was seen arguing with a woman moments after the assault.

Police are now looking for witnesses to the assault. A reward of up to $2,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and charging of individuals sought in this case.

Police say anyone who has information about the crime can anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867; or you can text CRIMES (274637) with the subject title DMCS and enter the message; or email metro-denvercrimestoppers.com.

Print this article Back to Top