UNITED STATES NEWS

Veteran seeking dismissal of criminal charge for subduing suspect in attack on Muslim lawmaker

Feb 1, 2024, 7:00 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A military veteran who rushed to the aid of Connecticut’s first Muslim state representative when she was being attacked after a prayer service and subdued the suspect is seeking to have a misdemeanor assault charge erased.

Jason Spencer, 43, applied Wednesday for the state’s accelerated rehabilitation program, which would result in the charge being dismissed if he successfully completes a period of probation.

“I took an oath to defend this Constitution, to defend the country, to defend all the citizens,” Spencer told reporters after his appearance in Hartford Superior Court. “If I see someone needing help I have to intervene, and I feel all citizens should do that.”

Police, however, allege Spencer went too far when he kicked the suspect in the face after he stopped struggling.

State Rep. Maryam Khan, who was assaulted last June, joined Spencer and his lawyer outside the courthouse and criticized Spencer’s arrest.

“It is unfair that someone that assisted a woman being attacked is having to defend himself in our system,” she told reporters outside the courthouse. “Jason Spencer should be rewarded for his bravery, should be celebrated, uplifted and not criminalized.”

Khan, a Democrat who lives in the Hartford suburb of Windsor, has said she and her family were taking photos outside of a Hartford arena when a man approached and said he “intended to have sexual relations” with one of them, including Khan’s 15-year-old daughter. Her family was marking Eid al-Adha, the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage by Muslims to Mecca.

Khan said the man grabbed at her face and shirt, demanding a kiss, and later slapped her across the face and held her in a chokehold, giving her a concussion and injuring her right arm and shoulder. She then fell and he ran. Spencer and another man chased down and subdued the suspect, Andrey Desmond, police said.

Desmond was charged with several crimes including attempted sexual assault, strangulation, assault and risk of injury to children. He has pleaded not guilty. Court records show he has a history of mental illness, and a judge in December approved his public defender’s request for a mental health evaluation.

Spencer, of Coventry, is a former Army sergeant who served two tours in Iraq, his lawyer, Aaron Romano, said.

United States News

Associated Press

Ohio governor calls special session to pass legislation ensuring President Biden is on 2024 ballot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that he is calling a special session of the General Assembly next week to pass legislation ensuring President Joe Biden is on the state’s 2024 ballot. “Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting President of the United States, on […]

17 minutes ago

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. California’s law is meant to circumvent an Arizona law — first passed in 1864 — that bans nearly all abortions in that state. The Arizona Supreme Court had ruled that […]

18 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge says $475,000 award in New Hampshire youth center abuse case would be ‘miscarriage of justice’

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The judge who oversaw a landmark trial over abuse at New Hampshire’s youth detention center says capping the verdict at $475,000 as the state proposes would be an “unconscionable miscarriage of justice.” In a lengthy order issued Wednesday, Judge Andrew Schulman outlined five options for addressing the dispute that arose after […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Those who helped file voting fraud allegations are protected from suit, North Carolina justices say

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a defamation lawsuit against attorneys who assisted voters with submitting some 2016 ballot complaints, saying the fraud allegations they helped make were broadly protected within the protest process. The 5-0 ruling overturns the decision of a lower appeals court that determined only […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

NY judge imposes $15 million fine on unlicensed cannabis shops owner who says he gave free samples

The owner of seven unlicensed cannabis shops in New York whose promotions included an Easter egg hunt has been fined more than $15 million after state officials complained he repeatedly ignored notices to stop operating without approval, authorities said. A state Supreme Court justice in Lyons, New York, imposed the fine against David Tulley on […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

State dinner honoring Kenya showcases country star Brad Paisley and gospel music

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is throwing one of its biggest-ever state dinners for Kenyan President William Ruto and leaning in to the African leader’s tastes by showcasing two uniquely American types of music: gospel and country. The dinner Thursday night in a pavilion erected on the South Lawn is featuring performances by country […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Veteran seeking dismissal of criminal charge for subduing suspect in attack on Muslim lawmaker