Family, friends rally for Tampa teen's safe return - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Family, friends rally for Tampa teen's safe return

Posted: Updated:
TEMPLE TERRACE, FL (WFLA) -

The chant “bring Tariq home” could be heard as hundreds drove through the intersection of North 56th Street and East Fowler Avenue Saturday afternoon.

Family, friends and classmates gathered to rally support for 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, a Tampa youth who is being held in Israeli custody. Tariq was handcuffed and beaten by Israeli security guards July 3 during a protest in Jerusalem.

“It brings me to tears to think about Tariq and how he is over there right now without anybody, without his family during this holy month,” Chaikirah Parker said. Parker’s son is Tariq's classmate.

“It’s not a religious issue. It’s not a national issue. This is simply a boy that we are trying to bring home,” Parker added.

Tariq and his family were visiting relatives in Israel during his summer vacation. While there, Tariq's cousin was kidnapped and burned to death.

Tariq joined family and friends Thursday to protest his cousin’s murder, when he was handcuffed and beaten. The family said cell phone video shows Tariq being beaten by Israeli security guards.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki released the following statement Saturday:

"We can confirm that Tariq Khdeir, an American citizen, is being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. He was visited by an official from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem today.

"We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.

"We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents.”

Tariq’s parents remain in Israel, trying to come to terms with what happened.

"I'm infuriated," said Suha Abu Khdeir, Tariq's mother. "I'm just in a state of shock. I'm just speechless."

Salah Abu Khdeir, Tariq's father, wants his son to stay strong.

"I look and I see my son going out. I see him in the back and I know what he wears because he was with me. I started screaming 'Tariq, Tariq. I'm with you don't be scared, are you ok baba (son), are you sure you're ok,'" explained Salah Abu Khdeir.

Friends and family in Temple Terrace are praying for Tariq’s safe return to Tampa.

“I keep asking God to heal him and to make him come back safely,” Tariq's classmate Ryan Elfallah said.



  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • Koala survives 54-mile ride clinging to car's grill

    Koala survives 54-mile ride clinging to car's grill

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:59:42 GMT
    Timberwolf clung to a car for 54 miles. Australia Zoo Facebook photoTimberwolf clung to a car for 54 miles. Australia Zoo Facebook photo
    An adorable little koala survived an amazing high-speed ride by clinging to a car for 54 miles on an Australia highway. The koala suffered a torn nail during the ordeal.
    An adorable little koala survived an amazing high-speed ride by clinging to a car for 54 miles on an Australia highway. The koala suffered a torn nail during the ordeal.
  • FWC: Lionfish need to be removed from Florida waters

    FWC: Lionfish need to be removed from Florida waters

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:07 GMT
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is changing management rules of invasive lionfish to remove them from state waters. Lionfish was introduced to state waters in the 1980s, and since then, populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat, the FWC says.
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is changing management rules of invasive lionfish to remove them from state waters. Lionfish was introduced to state waters in the 1980s, and since then, populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat, the FWC says.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.