On Tuesday, September 12, a brutal assault occurred at the Rustic Bar in Duluth, located at 401 N. Central Avenue.

In the days after the event, details of the disturbing incident were shared across social media by the victim, Michelle Folson, and her daughter Katasia Khabeer.

Michelle described what happened to her: "I was kicked in my head and face. It was 2 white men who stomped and kicked me in my head. I was unconscious and woke up covered in blood in the parking lot not knowing what happened to me." She has also shared pictures of her bloodied shirt and glasses as well as the injuries sustained to her face.

On Monday, September 18, the Duluth Police Department acknowledged the incident and provided an update on their investigation. According to police, "surveillance video was requested on Thursday, September 14, and the bar owner provided it to DPD on Saturday, September 16. Investigators were called in on Saturday to review the video and continue the investigation. The surveillance video showed two females having a conversation that turned physical. That’s when two males became involved in the confrontation and assaulted the female victim."

They added that they are talking to witnesses and have canvassed the area to gather video from surrounding establishments as the investigation continues.

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Meanwhile,  Katasia Khabeer has started a GoFundMe page on behalf of her mom. Katashia was working nearby the night of the assault and she describes what she both heard and saw that night, saying in part:

Witnesses have said a white man was seen stomping and kicking my mother in the head while she was on the ground, Her clothes and shoes have drag marks indicating she was dragged on her side and she woke up alone in the dark parking lot of the bar.

Somehow she made it to me I was at work about 4-5 minutes walking distance from the bar. My mother was covered in her own blood crying she was unaware of what happened to her she just kept repeating “Someone attacked me. Help me. What happened to me?". To see my mother like this has traumatized me and completely broken my heart.

They broke her nose on both sides they hit her so hard that her teeth went through her lip creating a hole. She has two horrible swollen black eyes a cut between her eyebrows and an extremely swollen head, the amount of blood on her leads me to believe they left her for dead.

I called 911 right away and they rushed her to the hospital in an ambulance to treat her injuries. It is known that some of the situations took place in the bar and they never called the police or helped my mother. This situation is under investigation so if you hear or know anything please please reach out to me with the information.

Katasia believes that because her mom is a Black woman this could possibly be a hate crime. This is based on the comments made that night by the two white men and the white woman involved.

She has started a GoFundMe page on behalf of her mom, with the money received to be used to help pay rent and other utilities while Michelle is missing work to heal from her injuries. At this point, it’s hard to say when she will be able to return as she is hurting both physically and emotionally.

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