Twenty-one year old Mufeed Yacoub, a mechanical engineering student at Portland State University who moved to Portland from Egypt with his parents in 1999, was the victim in that alleged attack.
Yacoub says his brother, two friends, and he were celebrating the end of fall term when they went to Dirty, had a shot, and then Yacoub and a friend went to use the bathroom.
"My friend Sharif went in first, I waited for the other stall," says Yacoub. "At this point, there's a guy outside the door talking, but the music was kind of loud, I wasn't able to hear what hear was saying, until he said, 'You Arab. I know your kind.'"
"I turned around to see if he was kidding, if he had a smirk on his face, and right as I turned around he pushed me and then punched me in the right side of my face," continues Yacoub. The punch knocked him out for a few seconds and also chipped a tooth which cut a hole in Yacoub's face above his lip. "I fell on the floor and I kind of remember vaguely a bouncer carrying me into this back area." Someone put a BandAid on the cut, but it wouldn't stop bleeding, so Yacoub's brother drove him to the emergency room. While Yacoub was waiting to be stitched up, they tried to figure out whether they should report the assault to the police.
"At the emergency room, my brother and I were talking about are we going to call the police or are we going to go back to the club and trying to figure out who the guy was?" They decided to head back to Dirty to see if they could review that night's security tapes to find the guy. But when they left the ER and went to Dirty, Yacoub says a manager-type person at the club came out and said they couldn't look at the tape and that if the pair told the police, they wouldn't ever be allowed back in to the club. "That's when we decided to talk to the police," says Yacoub.
Update 4:33pm: The owner of Dirty bar contests that they threatened to 86 the pair if they talked with police. "That's ridiculous. Never happened," says owner Chris Lenahan who says he told the brothers they could come back the next day to watch the tape, but that they couldn't come in to the bar because they were counting money. /end update
Now the gash is a small scar. Yacoub says he's gotten a lot of support from friends, but that he feels a bit nervous hanging out in crowded clubs. "I've always been grateful for being in Portland, and I still am. I felt this shock, I felt disappointed for this happening," he says.
Over the past three years, sixteen hate crimes against Arab men and women have been reported in Oregon. The police typically don't send out information about bias crimes that are under investigation unless they need the public's help for some reason, like in a case this December where a man was beaten on Halloween while walking home.
If anyone has any info about the suspect, Rickey Watson, could be, they're asked to call Detective Warren at 503 823-3761.