Refugees pepper sprayed at hotel in Owensboro

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Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:16 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - A group of Afghanistan refugees in Owensboro says they’re okay after three men attacked them with pepper spray.

When most of the Afghan refugees came to the area last fall, there wasn’t enough housing for them, so they moved into the Comfort Suites in Owensboro, and that’s where the attack happened.

Thursday night, the Afghan refugees living at the Comfort Suites were returning home as their food for the night was being delivered.

The victims were walking down the sidewalk back to the hotel when they realized they were being followed.

Three men with their faces covered followed behind them.

As the refugees went through the entrance, one of the men following them sprayed pepper spray into the hotel lobby.

The three suspects then ran away, as all the people in the lobby dealt with the pepper spray now in the air.

One of the refugees, who wanted to stay anonymous, saw it happen as the pepper spray started to burn the eyes and skin of people he knows.

“We know there is some people that are, that don’t like us maybe, and lots of people like us, but some of them maybe they don’t like refugees, or Afghans or Muslims. I don’t, we don’t know.”

It didn’t take long for the lobby to be filled with police, hotel staff, volunteers and paramedics, all making sure that everyone was okay.

“We are happy we have those kinds of people to... if something happened they’re just coming and asking about us and take care of us,” the refugee said.

They say the majority of people who care about them outweigh the few who mean them harm.

“They give us strength to live here,” the refugee said.

The FBI says the investigation is ongoing and they could use the public’s help to find who did it.

If you have any information, reach out to OPD at (270) 687-8888 or the FBI at (502) 263-6000.

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