ITHACA, N.Y. — Police are looking for a suspect they say assaulted three Cornell University students Saturday morning in Collegetown.
Officers were called around 1:30 a.m. to a fight at the intersection of Eddy Street and Dryden Road. People at the scene told police that a male Cornell student was verbally harassed with racial slurs and assaulted. Two other Cornell students who tried to stop the assault were also assaulted, police said. Police did not immediately release the race of the three Cornell students who were injured.
Two of the three students were taken to Cayuga Medical Center for treatment following the fight.
Police said a victim described the attacker as a white college-aged male, 5 feet-9-inches tall with dirty blond hair. He was wearing “a red and white ball cap and a New England Patriots hooded zip up jacket.”
The male was last seen headed south on Eddy Street toward Route 79.
Police are asking for anyone with information about the crime to contact them at 607-255-1111.
For Cornell University, this marks another racially fuel incident at the campus where several events within the past year made national headlines.
For instance, Cornell Student John Greenwood was charged with third-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, a class A misdemeanor, last September. He’s also being charged with misdemeanors for second-degree aggravated harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief.
Greenwood, who is white, is accused of being part of a group of people at Psi Upsilon who attacked a black male while calling him racial slurs during the early morning hours of Sept. 15 on the 300 block of Eddy Street in Ithaca. According to police records, at least two fights and bouts of name calling broke out between people at the fraternity house and students at an adjacent home. During one of the fights, a black male was reportedly beaten by white students who used racial slurs against him.
Greenwood was the only person charged for the crime. In a statement released to media, Greenwood said he used racial slurs during the incident but did not hit anyone.
According to an online statement from the La Asociación Latina, the incident happened just after midnight on Wednesday. In addition to the chanting, which the association says was heard by several people, someone heard a person near or at the fraternity specifically say, “Let’s build a wall around the LLC.”
The fight happened just a few days after the phrase “Build a wall, build a wall,” was being chanted, by people at the Zeta Psi Fraternity house. According to an online statement from the La Asociación Latina, the incident happened just after midnight on Sept. 6. In addition to the chanting, which the association says was heard by several people, someone heard a person near or at the fraternity specifically say, “Let’s build a wall around the LLC.”
Students a local activists have said Cornell University does not take these kinds of incidents seriously or do enough to address racists issues on campus.
The association said in a statement at the time, “Cornell as an institution cannot truly say, as it has tried in recent days, that it supports students of marginalized communities and backgrounds when this sort of behavior runs rampant. These communities, time and time again, have come up against an innumerable amount of acts rooted in bigotry and discrimination. These incidents are not isolated, but are structural in that individuals hold harmful ideals and larger structures within Cornell, and Cornell itself, allows them to go unchecked.”