A man accused of assisting in the brutal beating of a customer at a Miami convenience store has fled the country, local authorities said Wednesday.
Nabil Sulaiman, 19, was charged with aggravated battery and his older brother, 24-year-old Ragheb, was charged with murder after the two allegedly attacked Akil Larue Oliver in their Quick Stop convenience store.
Nabil Sulaiman was allowed to post a $10,000 bond after the November attack and used his passport to leave the country, which is in direct violation of his bail. A family attorney said the teen is likely in fear of his safety because of the racial tensions involved in the case.
The family is originally from Palestine, but it is unclear if that is where the boy has fled.
The incident sparked outrage in the predominantly black community and there were protests in front of the family-owned convenience for weeks. Now the news of the suspect becoming a fugitive has government officials up in arms.
"I stand with the family and the community in expressing my outrage at the fact that Nabil Sulaiman. . .was allowed to flee the country. This is a concern that has been voiced by the family and the community for some time," said County Commissioner Dennis Moss."The family and the community have gone through enough as a result of this tragic event, and having one of the defendants, namely Nabil Sulaiman, not answer to the allegations in this case, just adds insult to injury."
Sulaiman was supposed to show up in court Tuesday to turn in his passport, but he had already fled the country.
With Sulaiman on the lam, the racial and ethnic overtones of the case will likely escalate, authorities fear.
Police said the original crime on Nov. 18 was sparked when Oliver got into an argument with the clerks over some change he thought he was owed. It was reportedly seven cents.
At one point during the heated exchange, Oliver called one of the Sulaimans a "f----- Arab," which led to Nabil Sulaiman hitting the customer over the head with a bottle.
His older brother joined the fight wielding a crow bar. Oliver was hit over the head with the heavy metal and died from his injuries.