At least five possible hate crime incidents at Stanford University since the Israel-Hamas war’s onset are under investigation, including an apparent hit-and-run crash involving an Arab Muslim student, according to the university’s public safety department.
The student was struck by a car Friday afternoon, authorities said.
“The victim reported that the driver made eye contact with the victim, accelerated and struck the victim, and then drove away while shouting, ‘f*** you people,’” according to a news release from the Stanford Department of Public Safety.
A preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol determined the incident was a hate crime, according to a statement Saturday from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation.
The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, the university said.
The victim described the driver as “a white male in his mid-20s, with short dirty-blond hair and a short beard, wearing a gray shirt and round framed eyeglasses,” according to an alert published on Stanford’s website Saturday.
The student also described the vehicle involved as a 2015 black Toyota 4Runner “or possibly a newer model,” according to the alert.
Stanford president Richard Saller and provost Jenny Martinez condemned the hit-and-run in a campus statement Friday.
“We are profoundly disturbed to hear this report of potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus,” the statement read. “Violence on our campus is unacceptable. Hate-based violence is morally reprehensible.”
The Council on American–Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area said in a statement Saturday the incident “underscores the urgent need to address the growing Islamophobia and hatred that have been plaguing our communities.”
Public safety authorities encouraged anyone with information on the incident to come forward. CNN has reached out to the California Highway Patrol for more details.
Stanford: More potential hate crimes reported
Stanford’s public safety authorities said the recent hate crime incidents began on October 15, when a group of students who identified as “Arab, Muslim and/or Palestinian” reported being shoved by another student after they attempted to add and remove posters from an area on campus, according to the university’s Protected Identity Harm reporting site.
“Stanford considers anti-Arab and Islamophobic acts to be abhorrent. This incident is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety as a crime motivated by hate,” a message on the site read.
In an incident the following day, a student of color was seated near a Palestinian liberation display at the Palo Alto campus’s White Plaza location when another student allegedly spat at them, according to the reporting site.
School authorities say the second student also allegedly said “disgusting” before attempting to spit at the student by the display. “Spitting on someone, including spitting on someone motivated by hate, is egregious behavior that has no place here,” the Protected Identity Harm reporting site notes.
A group of Arab, Muslim and/or Palestinian students were gathered in the same White Plaza area of campus on October 18 when school authorities say someone ran over a tote bag containing a computer and other valuables and decorated with a design in the shape of Palestine.
The university said its public safety officials are also looking into the incident as a hate-motivated crime.
On October 28, a mezuza adorning the door of a Jewish student was removed from their residence in another potential hate crime, according to school officials, who referred to the “removal of a sacred religious symbol” as a form of intimidation against the Jewish community.
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