Equatorial Guinea's ambassador to the United States is suspected of beating his daughter with a wooden chair leg, leaving her hospitalised, but he was not arrested because he has diplomatic immunity, police say.
Police in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia, responded on Monday (NZT Tuesday) to a 911 call of a "malicious wounding" at the ambassador's diplomatic residence, and found a juvenile with a large laceration to her head and other injuries, said Arlington Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The girl had been beaten with the wooden leg of a chair and required hospitalisation, he said.
"After interviewing people in the residence, we determined the ambassador was the primary suspect," Sternbeck said.
Police did not disclose the girl's age.
The diplomatic residence is home to Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, the ambassador from Equatorial Guinea, a Central African country of about 740,000 people, according to the embassy website. He was appointed to the post in 2013.
Police, which did not have jurisdiction in cases involving diplomats, did not make an arrest and informed the US State Department, which would handle any further action, Sternbeck said.
A spokesman for the State Department said officials were aware of the incident and "deeply concerned by the alleged assault".
"The State Department has been in close touch with the local authorities regarding the welfare of the victim and possible charges against the alleged perpetrator," he said.
The spokesman said the department was not at liberty to discuss the case further.
The Equatorial Guinea Embassy did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.