ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – One Syrian teen is left with his leg in a cast, another hit on the head with a pistol, as violence erupts at an apartment complex where many Syrians refugees are getting their first impression of America.

The attack Tuesday night at an apartment complex at Page and Hodiamont allegedly began when a group of four male teens — immigrants from other countries — challenged the younger Syrian teenage boys to a fight.

Witnesses say the Syrian boys tried to walk away but ended up in a scuffle on the ground outside the apartment’s leasing office.

A 15-year-old Syrian boy was treated at a hospital for a sprained leg, and another Syrian boy, a 16-year-old, said he got a bump on the head when he was struck by a gun.

Related story: Syrian Refugees Afraid of North St. Louis

Residents are calling for stepped up police coverage of the complex, where refugees from multiple families are being placed by the International Institute.

Last month, several Syrian refugees there complained of bugs, mice and the sound of gunfire in the night.

One Syrian woman said during a public meeting last month she was calling friends in a refugee camp in Jordan, warning them not to come to St. Louis.

KMOX’s Charlie Brennan visited the site Wednesday with Syrian-born pediatrician Dr. Khaldoun Elzobl of Swansea, Illinois, acting as a translator.

The apartment complex owner told KMOX he has no video surveillance footage of the incident, and he declined to comment further.

St. Louis police say they are investigating, but admit the language barrier is a problem.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  1. Language is a problem?! Are you telling me the St Louis Police department does not have any Arabic speakers? Are you saying that there are not tens of thousands of Arabic speakers in the city of St Louis? Furthermore, why in God’s name would you house these people at Page and Hodiamont? That can’t be justified. There is no sense in that, at all. You are talking about one of the highest if not the highest crime areas in the city. Bad dumb.

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