Man Arrested After Fire Is Set at Memorial for Slain Muslim Teen: Cops

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was found dead in a pond Sunday.

A memorial for the slain Muslim teen who was found dead over the weekend was set on fire Wednesday.

U.S. Parks Police said a man was arrested after allegedly igniting items placed at Washington D.C.'s Dupont Circle fountain in remembrance of Nabra Hassanen.

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Days earlier and 30 miles away, in suburban Sterling, Va., the 17-year-old was found dead in a pond.

Parks Police said in a a statement that the fountain did not suffer any permanent damage. The Metropolitan Police Department said Jonathan Solomon, a 24-year-old from South Carolina, was arrested and charged with "attending or kindling bonfires."

"The items had been collected from within the park. There is no evidence that this incident is related to the memorial held in the park the previous evening," Park Police said in a statement.

Just as officials in D.C. said the fire was not hate-motivated, their counterparts investigating Nabra's murder say her religion was also not a factor.

The high schooler had been walking with a group of teens in Fairfax County after leaving an overnight service for the holy month of Ramadan.

The group was walking to a McDonald’s between 3 and 4 a.m. when Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, drove up to them and began arguing with a boy on a bicycle who was part of the group, police said.

Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez chased them into a parking lot and got out of his car carrying a baseball bat, witnesses told authorities.

He struck Hassanen with the bat, then loaded her into his vehicle, said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker at a Monday press conference, Reuters reported.

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"It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence," she said.

Because girls in the group were wearing traditional Muslim dress, there was early speculation that the attack may have been a hate crime.

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