Not for nuthin’ that Lewiston has been dubbed “Little Mogadishu.” According to court documents, a large gang of teens and adults, mostly from Somalia, were fighting against several white guys on June 18, 2018, when Donald Giusti was beaten to death. Giusti’s autopsy showed two areas of significant trauma to his head and brain, as well as a patterned injury on his left shoulder, a broken clavicle and a fracture to one of his left rear ribs. His cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
Press Herald (h/t Kafir) Police swept through the downtown early Thursday and in Limestone, arresting two local teens and an adult in connection with the June 2018 beating death of Donald Giusti, 38, near Kennedy Park, according to authorities.
Pierre Mousafiri, 23, of Lewiston was arrested for misdemeanor assault and taken to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn. Mousafiri’s arraignment date is set for June 12 at 8th District Court. According to the court document, Mousafiri told a police detective he had kicked Giusti while he was lying in the street, identifying himself in the video and another person who was shown kicking Giusti in the clavicle.
Sun Journal Emmanuel Knurunziza, 18, appeared in 8th District Court after he was arrested as a juvenile earlier in the day by Maine State Police in Limestone. He was 17 years old at the time of the fight. The felony is punishable in adult court by up to 30 years in prison.
A medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt-force trauma that included two “significant areas” of trauma to Giusti’s head and brain. Deputy Medical Examiner Lisa Funte also noticed a “patterned injury” on Giusti’s left shoulder, a broken clavicle and a fracture to one of his left rear ribs, according to the autopsy report.
The two juveniles were taken into custody Thursday morning: a 17-year-old was arrested and charged with manslaughter in Limestone; a 13-year-old, charged with misdemeanor assault in Lewiston. Both were taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. Musafiri is free on $500 cash bail, according to jail officials. The charge is a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
Giusti’s family — along with others in the community — have complained in the past about lack of charges stemming from his death. Earlier this year, the family released a statement, expressing their unhappiness with the investigation.
One witness, who videotaped a portion of the fight, told police a “white guy” had been running backwards and had stumbled. After righting himself, “he was struck in the head with a brick, which caused him to fall to the ground.”
“After he fell, the Somali and Congolese group ‘stomped’ him for about 10 seconds, before they took off running,” Kyle wrote in his affidavit. That witness said several people were armed with sticks, pipes, BB guns and bats.