Towson University police are investigating a possible hate crime after two members of a Jewish fraternity were allegedly attacked by two unidentified suspects on Sunday, April 29.
According to reports, the two victims are members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi and claim the suspects started following them and shouted “F**k the Jews” and other ethnic slurs. Furthermore, one of the victims says he was punched in the face and believes the assault was due to his religious beliefs. A spokesman for Towson University said that both the suspects and the victims are students.
The university says that if the suspects are found responsible they could face sanctions “up to and including suspension or expulsion.”
According to the police report, both suspects appeared to be intoxicated, and their identities have been concealed because they have not yet been charged. The victims haven’t pressed charges against the assailants as of Monday. A spokesman for the university confirmed that the assailants and victims are Towson students.
“The incident has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity to launch a full investigation on the basis that the incident was reported as both assault as well as hate-bias,” Sean Welsh said in an emailed statement. “All reports are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”
As of Monday, April 30, the victims had not pressed charges against the assailants. Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said that because the incident was a second-degree assault, the assailants cannot be prosecuted unless victims choose to do so.
The Baltimore Sun reports that a 2016 campus security report found that hate crimes at Towson University are rare, with only three bias-related incidents being reported on campus between 2014 and 2016 — two assaults related to race and one vandalism incident related to religion.