-- A young woman who was targeted with suspected hate speech in Oregon on Friday before her attacker allegedly went on a deadly stabbing rampage asked for privacy and time to heal from the traumatic event.
Destinee Mangum, 16, and a 17-year-old friend who was wearing a hijab were riding a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon, on Friday evening when Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly began to yell racial and religious slurs at them.
Christian allegedly killed two people and seriously injured another after they tried to intervene.
“The best thing that you guys can help out with is just give me and my family time to process everything,” Mangum said in a video posted on her mother’s Facebook page. “I would appreciate it if you guys just give us our privacy, time to heal and be together.”
Rick Best, 53; Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23; and Micah Fletcher, 21, tried to defend Mangum and her friend before Christian attacked the men with a knife, authorities said.
Christian was arrested in connection with the stabbings, and in a statement the Portland Police Bureau said a preliminary investigation indicated that he yelled “various remarks that would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicity and religions.”
In the video posted on Sunday, Mangum and her mother, Dyjuana Hudson, thanked the public for their support.
“We’re just here to say thank you,” Hudson said. “We really appreciate what’s being done for us and for the victims.”
“Although they survived, their lives will never be the same, as they were being the targets of hate,” the campaign’s creators said. “In order to help them heal from this traumatic event, we are raising funds to help girls to move on and feel safe in the future.”
The campaign raised more than $14,500 as of early Monday. The fundraiser has a goal of $50,000.
A separate fundraising campaign launched by the Muslim Community Center in Portland to help the families of the dead men as well as the surviving victims has raised more than $50,000, according to The Associated Press.
“I am very thankful as a Muslim, I am very thankful as a Portlander ... that we stand together here as one,” Muhammad Najieb, an imam at the Muslim Community Center, told The Associated Press on Saturday. The two young women “could have been the victims, but three heroes jumped in and supported them.”
Christian is being held without bail and is set to appear in court on Monday. He was apprehended shortly after the attack when he was confronted by other men.