ITHACA, N.Y. – Two people are facing misdemeanor charges after police say they assaulted multiple Cornell University students while using racial slurs last month. One of the students was also allegedly attacked by Cornell student John Greenwood last semester in what authorities said is a hate crime.
Zachary R. Boothroyd, of Ithaca, and George W. Booker Jr., of Groton, were arraigned Monday in Ithaca City Court. Booker, 22, is charged with one count of third-degree assault and was placed on supervised release. Boothroyd, 22, is charged with three counts of third-degree assault and is in custody at the Tompkins County Jail with no bail. Neither are students at Cornell.
According to court records, Booker is accused of crashing into a crowd of people waiting in line at a taco truck in Collegetown while shouting, “Let’s go n—–. You got a problem n—–?”
The complainant, who is black, was knocked to the ground. When he got back up, he “asked the man why he was saying this and specifically asked him not to use ‘n—–,” court documents state.
The man then knocked the complainant to the ground again where he hit his head and became unconscious.
A Cornell employee who happened to also be in line waiting for food tried to diffuse the situation and was also punched in the face. The employee told police that Booker “seemed intoxicated and was acting rowdy, by jostling people and talking loudly.”
Related: Cornell will not ‘brush aside’ assault with racial slurs in Collegetown; suspect still sought
As the crowd dispersed, Boothroyd punched at least one person in the mouth and is accused of assaulting at least two other people during the commotion.
District Attorney Matthew Van Houten confirmed the person assaulted was the same person who was allegedly attacked by John Greenwood in September. Cornell student Greenwood was charged with a misdemeanor hate crime and is awaiting further court proceedings.
Van Houten said there is no indication the crimes are connected. The two charged appear to be local people. He said the victim appears to have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Van Houten said he is confident this case is not a hate crime and there is nothing to support the individuals assaulted were selected because of their race, religion or anything else.
Reporter Kelsey O’Connor contributed to this report.