Attack on Michigan Student Not 'Hate' Crime: Police

Jewish Student's Mouth Stapled Shut by Skinhead Thugs

By Seth Berkman

Published August 29, 2012.
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Michigan police are reportedly refusing to treat as a hate crime an attack in which a Jewish student was set upon by skinhead thugs, spewing hate and stapling his mouth shut.

Zach Tennen
twitpic
Zach Tennen

Capt. Jeff Murphy of the East Lansing police told the State News, Michigan State University’s student newspaper, that witnesses did not hear Nazi or anti-Semitic slogans during the weekend attack on Zach Tennen.

“We just need a lot more to it before it comes to the level of a hate crime,” Murphy told the State News. “If this rises to the level of a hate crime as this goes on, rest assured, we will get the person charged.”

Zach Tennen, the 19-year-old Michigan State student who was attacked early Sunday, said two men “raised their arms in a Nazi salute,” and “chanted ‘’Heil Hitler’ “ before attacking him at a party, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“It almost seemed like they tried to kill me, and to think about that in my brain, physically – it isn’t very pleasant,” Tennen told the Free Press.

Tennen did not receive any assistance after the beating, in which he was knocked unconscious. He had to hail a taxi to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. On Monday, Tennen had his jaw wired shut at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital in Pontiac.

Michigan State has said they will provide academic support for Tennen. The two suspects remain at-large.

Tennen, an avid basketball fan, is the grandson of longtime Michigan 3rd District Judge Harvey F. Tennen. He has been tweeting updates on his recuperation @ZJTBasketball11.

Police were questioning an 18-year-old man from Farmington Hills, but no arrest has been made, the Detroit News reported


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