Charges: Applebee's customer attacked for speaking Swahili

A Minnesota woman was attacked in Applebee's for speaking a different language.

- A Ramsey woman is facing assault charges after she reportedly attacked another woman at an Applebee’s in Coon Rapids, Minn. for speaking in a foreign language.

"I was sitting turned around like this and all of a sudden I feel something thrown on my face. Boom! My cousin started screaming and everyone wanted to run away," Asma Jama, assaulted at Applebee's, said.

Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch, 43, of Ramsey and her husband were eating at the Applebee’s at 129th Street NW on Oct. 30, according to the criminal complaint. Witnesses say the pair was upset that the victim, who was sitting in a booth next to them, was speaking in a foreign language. 

The managers asked Burchard-Risch to leave the restaurant, but she refused. Burchard-Risch threw her drink on Jama and smashed her beer mug across the her face in a “round house punch” motion before fleeing the scene.

Jama suffered deep cuts on her nose and lower lip.

"Emotionally that has destroyed me," Jama said. "I've lived in Minnesota for 15 years, never had anyone even look at me weird for not speaking English and wearing a Hijab. I've seen hate crimes on TV, but for it to happen to me -- I'm really a different person, I don't like it."

Burchard-Risch is being charged with one count of third degree assault.

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