Police: Attack On MSU Student Not Likely A Hate Crime - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Police: Attack On MSU Student Not Likely A Hate Crime

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Police say an MSU student attacked at an off-campus party early Sunday morning is not likely a hate crime victim, despite the victim's allegations.

Zachary Tennen told WDIV-TV in Detroit on Monday that two men attacked him, hitting him in the face and stapling inside his mouth. Tennen alleges that the attack happened after the two men asked if he was Jewish, and he answered "yes."

The Anti-Defamation League and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion have both released statements expressing outrage at the alleged attacks.

However, police in East Lansing say they are not sure this was actually a hate crime. Officials say during their investigation, they interviewed witnesses who saw one suspect hit Tennen, but Captain Jeff Murphy says none of those witnesses reported seeing the suspect use any anti-Semitic gestures or slurs.

Officials acknowledge that Tennen was hit in the face at a party in the 500 block of Spartan Avenue, but say neither Tennen nor his family reported that anyone stapled inside of his mouth.

"The assault is no laughing matter," says Captain Murphy. "It's quite serious, but it doesn't appear that it was all of what it was originally thought to be," said Captain Murphy.

Authorities say they are questioning a suspect who is apparently from the Detroit area. It is not clear if he is a student at MSU or what his connection to the East Lansing area is.

Charges against the suspect are expected to be filed at some point with the Ingham County prosecutor, officials say.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter or email at emorrow@wlns.com

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