Canadian Muslim teen in ICU recovering after “savage beating” with baseball bat

SHAFAQNA- A 15-year-old Hamilton boy is in recovery postsurgery for a blood clot on the brain after being robbed and beaten with a baseball bat over the weekend.

“He was just savagely beaten,” Salima Hafeez, Noah Rabbani’s aunt, said Wednesday. “It’s just heartbreaking — it’s so meaningless, it’s so senseless.”

The family of the Grade 10 Salt fleet Secondary School student believes the attack could have been motivated by hate or race because of his skin colour.

Rabbani is Muslim and of Pakistani descent, Hafeez said.

Rabbani was walking to his grandparents’ place from a friend’s house around midnight Sunday when two men jumped out of a car that pulled up beside him near Fletcher and Rymal roads, Hafeez said.

One of the men started beating him with a baseball bat.

The men made off with Rabbani’s backpack, which Hafeez said contained only books and a water bottle. Then they took off.

Neither his phone nor his watch was taken, Hafeez noted.

After the attack, Rabbani came to on the sidewalk, feeling confused and disoriented. At first he thought he may have fallen and hit his head, Hafeez said.

But as he walked to his grandparents,’ the memory of what happened started coming back to him. He eventually had a seizure and an ambulance was called, she said.

Rabbani has been in the intensive care unit ever since.

In addition to the blood clot, his short-term memory has been affected. Several of his teeth were broken and the right side of body was injured so he cannot write, Hafeez said.

“It’s basically a long road to recovery,” she said. “He’s going to need extensive physiotherapy.”

Rabbani is an amazing student who is well-loved by his school community, Hafeez said.

“He likes his academics, but he is also active,” she said, noting he likes to hang out with his cousins and brothers and play basketball.

“He’s a gentle soul because he’s got younger siblings and he’s very caring toward them.”

Hafeez said she’s concerned about how the attack could affect Rabbani’s future.

“We don’t know how this is going to affect him psychologically, physically, mentally,” she said. “You can’t just walk away from this without having some sort of long-term impact.”

Police described one of the suspects as about five-foot-six with a thin build and the other as about five-foot-eight. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Mike Hall at 905-546-4947.

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