HUNTINGTON BEACH– A 17-year-old teenager was stabbed twice when he and his brother-in-law were walking home in Huntington Beach,
The two males were confronted by three adults.
Karam Jarrah said he and his brother-in-law, Asem Dghem, were speaking Arabic when a man, now identified as 25-year-old Martin Roman, confronted them.
"Was it like a racial issue? Is it because we were speaking Arabic or it can be like just the way we look," Jarrah told KABC-TV.
Roman was with his wife Jessica, and 28-year-old brother, an off-duty Police officer from Illinois.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon in the parking lot outside of a 24 Hour Fitness Center as the brother-in laws walked by the three suspects sitting in their car.
"He was like, 'What's up 'obamabam?' I don't even know what that means," Jarrah recalled. "So, I said, 'What?' and he said, 'What's up 'obamabam?' He said it like he was mad."
Depsite some hostility, the teenager said he was being very friendly towards them. But the confrontation escalated and Roman got out of his vehicle and pulled out a knife, stabbing Jarrah twice.
"When I stood up, it was just like a fountain squirting blood, like blood everywhere," said Jarrah, who was transported to a local hospital.
The three suspects took off in their car but were arrested a short time later.
Jarrah and his family said they can't believe a cop was part of the violent attack.
"They have to actually protect us, not stab us," Dghem said. "He's a police officer, actually, he's supposed to be role model."
The three suspects now face felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon as well as battery. Police said the incident remains under investigation.
Investigators have not confirmed that the attack was motivated by race.