Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hate on campus: Grandson of Auschwitz survivor beaten in anti-Semitic attack

from the Philadelphia Daily News:

Hate becomes more than history for victim of Temple U. beating


by REGINA MEDINA

Growing up in suburban Pennsylvania, the young man had heard horror stories from his grandfather about the Holocaust.

His grandfather was imprisoned in Auschwitz concentration camp and lived to tell about it.

So when the young man, a Penn State University student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, became the victim of a hate crime recently in front of a Jewish fraternity on the Temple University campus, he was simply incredulous that such an attack could occur in 2008.

"He told me stories about the Holocaust, but I thought I'd never have to live through a hate crime," said the student, who suffered a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone in the attack. "I never thought I'd have to deal with a hate crime."

But deal with it the victim and the Temple community must.

Four Temple students were suspended by the university last week and the attack was strongly condemned by school president Ann Weaver Hart, who wrote: "Hate crimes will not be tolerated by Temple University."

The four suspects - Michael Walsh, 20, of Florham Park, N.J.; David Scott, 20, and Steven Scott, 19, two brothers from Willow Grove, Montgomery County; and Bryan Pediero, 19, of East Brunswick, N.J. - turned themselves into Philadelphia police on Wednesday and yesterday to face the music, police said.

The four were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation and criminal conspiracy, police spokeswoman Officer Christine O'Brien said.

It was the first offense for everybody, she said.

Temple police have video of the incident in front of Alpha Epsilon Pi house on North Broad Street near Norris, cops said.

The 23-year-old victim and his 22-year-old friend had emerged from the Owl's Nest Pizza shop around 1:30 a.m. and were swarmed by a group of young men, police said.

The victim remembers that seven males walked up to him and his friend, who is not a Temple student.

"You f---ing Jews! You f---ing [Jewish epithet]!" are the chants he remembers from that early Friday morning.

"Are you part of this f---ing Jewish fraternity?" at least one asked.

They punched him in the face, he remembers.

When his grandfather heard about the attack, "he cried," the young man said.

Since the beating, the victim said he walks around in fear - scared that he'll be a victim of a hate crime again.

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2 comments:

Carolyn said...

What ever happened with this...were the young men accused of this attack convicted of anything?

Adam Holland said...

Carolyn:

Thanks for reminding me to follow this up.

As best I can tell, they've been charged but not tried. The victim is suing Temple U. for allegedly knowing of but not stopping violence against Jews near the Jewish frat on campus.

This wasn't just a run of the mill dust up. This was one guy brutally beaten by four. His injuries were substantial and required surgery. He very plausibly alleges that he was surrounded by four strangers who yelled anti-Semitic slurs relating to the frat then beat him mercilessly. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slowly.

I'll watch the news for more on this.

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