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Hoover Tower at Stanford University, California, is shown on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
At least five possible incidents of hate crimes at Stanford University since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas are under investigation, including a hit-and-run accident involving an Arab Muslim student, department says of public safety at the university.
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 hit her, then drove off yelling, ‘f*** you people’” according to a press release from the Stanford Department of Public Safety.
A preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol determined it was a hate crime, according to a statement released Saturday by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation.
The victim’s injuries are not life-threatening, the university said.
The victim described the driver as “a white male in his 20s, with short dirty blonde hair and a short beard, wearing a gray shirt and round-rimmed glasses,” according to a posted alert. on the Stanford website Saturday.
The student also described the vehicle involved as a black 2015 Toyota 4Runner “or possibly a newer model,” according to the alert.
Stanford President Richard Saller and Dean Jenny Martinez condemned the hit-and-run in a statement released on campus Friday.
“We are deeply troubled to hear this report of potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus,” the statement said. “Violence on our campus is unacceptable. Hate-based violence is morally wrong.
The San Francisco Bay Area Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement Saturday that the incident “underscores the urgent need to combat the growing Islamophobia and hatred that plagues our communities.”
Public safety authorities encouraged anyone with information about the incident to come forward. CNN has contacted the California Highway Patrol for more details.
Stanford public safety officials said the recent hate crime incidents began on Oct. 15, when a group of students identifying as “Arab, Muslim and/or Palestinian” reported being shoved by another student after attempting to add and remove posters from an area of the university. campus, depending on the university Site for reporting protected identity breaches.
“Stanford considers anti-Arab and Islamophobic acts abhorrent. This incident is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety as a hate crime,” the site reads.
In an incident the next day, a student of color was sitting near a Palestinian liberation booth in the White Plaza on the Palo Alto campus when another student allegedly spat on him, according to the news site.
School officials say the second student also allegedly said “disgusting” before attempting to spit on the student near the screen. “Spitting on someone, including spitting on someone motivated by hatred, is egregious behavior that has no place here,” notes the reporting site Protected Identity Harm.
A group of Arab, Muslim and/or Palestinian students gathered in the same White Plaza area of campus on October 18 when school officials said someone crushed a tote bag containing a computer and… other valuable objects and decorated with a design in the shape of Palestine. .
The university said its public safety officials were also reviewing the incident as a hate crime.
On October 28, a mezuzah adorning a Jewish student’s door was removed from his residence, posing another potential hate crime, according to school officials, who cited the “removal of a religious symbol sacred” as a form of intimidation against the Jewish community. .