The Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups expressed outrage and horror at an alleged anti-Semitic hate crime against a student at Michigan State University. The student was knocked unconscious and had his mouth stapled shut by two men at a party, after the men allegedly asked the student if he was Jewish, chanted “Heil Hitler” and gave the Nazi salute. According to an ADL statement, the organization has spoken to the parents of the victim, Zachary Tennen, a sophomore, and has been in contact with local law enforcement and university officials since first learning of the assault, which took place in the early morning hours of August 26 and reportedly was witnessed by other students. Tennen sustained a broken jaw and other injuries and was hospitalized following the assault.
The Detroit Free Press reported: A 19-year-old Michigan State University student is recovering at home in Oakland County today after surgery overnight for a broken jaw his family says stems from a brutal hate crime. Two men at a party early Sunday attacked Zachary Tennen, a journalism sophomore at MSU, after asking whether he was Jewish, his mother, Tina Tennen, said today. They raised their arms in a Nazi salute, chanting “Heil Hitler” and then knocked Tennen unconscious, she said.
While he was out, the men stapled his mouth, putting a staple into his gum, she said. Tennen said her son said no one at the party helped him as he was attacked then thrown out of the gathering. He took a cab to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for initial treatment, but underwent surgery in metro Detroit overnight to have his jaw wired shut, his mother said."
The MSU office of communications distributed a statement: "Michigan State University's Student Affairs and Services office has reached out to the family of the student who said he was assaulted in East Lansing to provide the academic and other support the student needs," Cassella said. "MSU will work with the student and his professors to ensure he can fulfill his academic requirements, as we would with any student in need. As the incident occurred off campus in East Lansing, all questions about the police investigation need to go the East Lansing Police Department."
“We are horrified by this violent assault and allegations that the student may have been viciously attacked because he was Jewish,” said Betsy Kellman, ADL Detroit Regional Director. “We are confident that the East Lansing Police will thoroughly investigate this deeply troubling case and, given the allegations, treat it as a possible hate crime. We hope the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice.” For decades, ADL has spearheaded efforts to ensure that local, state and federal law enforcement have important tools to combat bias-motivated crime. In 1981, ADL drafted model hate crimes legislation covering all hate crimes. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have since enacted laws based on or similar to the model, which was unanimously found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993.