A Muslim refugee living in Burlington, Vermont, has pleaded not guilty to a horrific crime: attacking a 73-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer with a machete.
Abukar Ibrahim, 32, is a native of Somalia. He appeared in court while his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, since Ibrahim does not speak English. Ibrahim has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of unlawful mischief, and violating conditions of release.
Police arrived at the Harbor Place Motel in Burlington after receiving reports that Ibrahim was breaking car windows. At the time, the Harbor Place Motel was being used as an emergency shelter for the homeless, to escape the cold snap that engulfed much of the East Coast. The Meals on Wheels volunteer was at the motel delivering food to the homeless at the time of the attack.
Police quickly found the volunteer, who had suffered severe injuries to her back and leg, and Ibrahim barricaded in a motel room.
Ibrahim began taunting the police as the crime escalated into an apparent hostage situation, and it took cops more than two hours to convince Ibrahim to come outside. His victim was taken to the hospital, and later released.
Locals were shocked and horrified by Ibrahim’s crime—including James Scott, who witnessed the attack.
“I just happened to be coming out of the office and helped [the victim] in,” he explained. “She looked fine but scared, wicked scared.”
Scott added that the crime made him afraid to continue living in his home. “I sort of do feel unsafe,” he explained. “They let just about anyone in here without putting a background check on them.”
Ibrahim is being held without bail, and has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.