Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cops Say Religion Not Motive In Jewish Student Attack

A Michigan State University student’s Jewish religion was not a factor in an assault at an off-campus party, police said Wednesday, a day after the 19-year-old man claimed he was popped in the jaw as a victim of “religious hatred.”

There is no dispute that Zach Tennen was seriously injured early Sunday. But witnesses interviewed by detectives have not confirmed Tennen’s account that he was attacked after revealing he’s Jewish, East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy said. Police also have no evidence that Tennen’s mouth was stapled as he maintains, Murphy said.

“There’s a lot more to it than what is on the surface,” he told The Associated Press. “This came out early as being reported as a hate crime. It now appears after we’ve talked to many people who were at this party — and most importantly two witnesses who saw the actual assault — it doesn’t appear that religion was the reason he was assaulted,” Murphy said.

Tennen, who is from Franklin in suburban Detroit, is recovering from jaw surgery. His father, Bruce Tennen, said the police department’s latest “assertions sicken us.”

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