Yale Police say the search is on for whoever attacked a Hispanic man in what’s being called a suspected hate crime.
It left him seriously hurt and it happened in a spot surrounded by the Yale campus.
“It’s kind of frightening,” said Arantxa Galvan, a Yale sophomore.
Students learned in a message from the university's police chief that a Latino man was attack by a group of young men on York Street in New Haven early Saturday morning. That group allegedly yelled racial slurs at the man, according to the victim and a witness.
“It’s one thing to be called slurs, and I’ve been called slurs before. But it’s another thing, I think, to have a physical attack and on Yale’s campus,” Galvan said.
A woman who identifies herself as the man’s partner posted online that he was punched in the face and has a broken jaw. At the time, the man was helped by nearby students, including a friend of sophomore Aziz Ahmed.
“I think she did a good job. They brought the guy to the hospital and everything,” Ahmed said.
In the community message, the police chief wrote in part:
“I share your anger, disgust, and heartbreak at the prospect of a racially motivated crime so close to our own campus.”
“That is something that happens in a lot of places in New Haven, you know, and in some way we’re really fed up with the assaults that happen to our community,” said John Lugo, who is with a group called Unidad Latina en Accion.
The organization works for racial justice in Connecticut.
“There is like this feeling if you are an immigrant, they can assault you and do things to you just because maybe you’re not going to speak up,” Lugo said.
Lugo hopes police step up walking patrols across the city and urges people to stay in groups.
“I don’t go out alone and I have pepper spray on me, but that’s always been the case here,” Galvan said.
Yale said the victim was not a member of the school community and it doesn’t appear that the suspects were either, based on what they know right now.
Police are asking for the community's help finding the suspects who launched the attack.
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