December 12 2014
– A suspected child abuser was arrested in Seattle last month – hours before police said she would have boarded a flight bound for the Middle East.
Ula Husain Nasir Kaabi, 27, who is also pregnant, is back in Portland. She is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center on an enhanced bail of $600,000. Kaabi entered a plea of not guilty Friday to allegations of first-degree criminal mistreatment and third-degree assault.
According to court records, she and her husband, who has not been charged, are Iraqi citizens who came to Oregon on a student visa so Kaabi’s husband could attend college at Portland State University.
Investigators said once Kaabi learned she was considered a suspect in the physical abuse of her two-year-old daughter, she planned to return to Iraq.
The chase started Nov. 19, 2014 around 8:30 a.m. when Gresham Police Detective Robert Harley and Portland Police Detective Scott Chamberlain went to the Multnomah County Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center. Both officers are assigned to the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team.
They were at the juvenile center to arrest Kaabi on allegations of first-degree child abuse and third-degree assault. The detectives thought they would find Kaabi there because the courts had scheduled a dependency hearing. Officials wanted to see if Kaabi and her husband were fit enough to be caring for their children – a 2-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy – amid allegations that the girl had been repeatedly physically abused, court documents state.
When Kaabi was a no-show at the hearing, detectives went to her home in the 4700 block of SW Luradel Street in Portland to look for her. They knocked on the apartment door, but no one answered.
Police and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office grew even more concerned. Officials confirmed that both children were safe in protective custody. The question remained, though, where was Kaabi?
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) caseworker told police that Kaabi had left the United State and returned to Iraq, court documents state.
Immigration service involved
Detective Harley called U.S. Immigrations Enforcement and learned Kaabi had a seat reserved on Emirates Airlines flight 230 – bound for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates – that departed SEA-TAC at 5:10 p.m. that day. The detectives called detectives with the Port of Portland Police Department who confirmed Kaabi had boarded an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland International Airport to SEA-TAC that morning at 5:30 a.m, court records show.
Working with law enforcement in Seattle, police were able to arrest Kaabi before her flight on Emirates Airlines departed, officials said.
According to court records, on May 30, 2014, the DHS child abuse hotline got a tip about possible child abuse involving Kaabi because the 2-year-old girl was “covered bruises.”
Doctors at CARE NW, a child abuse assessment center, determined that the injuries were caused because of physical abuse. DHS took the two children into protective custody for about four months. Weeks after the children were returned to Kaabi and her husband, the girl was injured again. Kaabi claimed that the girl had fallen, but again doctors at the assessment center did not find any evidence to support those claims, court documents state.
When she was arrested in Seattle, Kaabi was held in the King County Jail. On Thursday, she was transported back to Portland by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday, she appeared before Judge Eric J. Bloch and entered a not guilty plea to the grand jury indictment. She is scheduled to be back in court in late January. She remains in jail on the $600,000 bail.
– Brent Weisberg