Four unknown males assaulted a 26-year-old male Ithaca resident near Hot Truck on Stewart Avenue early Saturday morning, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.
The victim, who is not affiliated with Cornell, received lacerations to the head that resulted in bleeding, but was not seriously injured. He “signed off on treatment” after Cornell medical personnel arrived at the scene at around 3 a.m., Grace-Kobas said.
The wife of the victim, who was present during the attack but was not harmed, told Cornell Police (CUPD) that the incident began when one of the suspects “said the f-word” in her direction. Her husband then confronted the male who had made the offensive remark, at which point that male and three others allegedly assaulted the Ithaca resident, according to Grace-Kobas.
A male senior, who witnessed the incident and wished to remain anonymous, said that three males, all of whom were white, had been taunting the Ithaca resident, who was Hispanic, with racial comments from atop the stairs that lead down to Hot Truck. The Hispanic man then “stepped up to them,” according to the male senior.
A fight ensued with the Hispanic man battling the three white males, whom the male senior described as “looking like young students.” Eventually, two by-standers helped break up the fight, according to the male senior, at which point the three white males “went up toward West Campus.” He did not notice a fourth attacker, although CUPD reported that an Asian male was also involved in the assault.
According to Grace-Kobas, CUPD, working with “the limited information” that was gathered from the victim and his wife shortly after the incident, determined that the four attackers, prior to fleeing the scene, made at least one racially derogatory comment to the Hispanic man.
Still, CUPD believes that the assault was not racially motivated, but was rather a product mostly of the participants’ intoxication.
“At this point, based on the information that we have, [Capt. Randall H. Hausner ’85, CUPD,] doesn’t think it was a bias crime because the guys had been drinking and the remark came at the end of the fight,” Grace-Kobas said. “The report we got was that all the men had been drinking.”
A Hot Truck employee who was working at the time of the melee told The Sun Sunday night that, although he did not personally witness the fight, he had heard from customers that alcohol was the primary factor. The employee noted that most incidents that occur in the vicinity of Hot Truck after 3 a.m. are “alcohol-related.”
In addition to refusing medical treatment, the victim told CUPD shortly after the incident that he did not intend to press criminal charges against his alleged attackers, according to Grace-Kobas.
Even so, CUPD is still investigating the incident and asks community members with information about either the assault or the suspects to call 255-1111.
“We don’t have good descriptions of the attackers,” Grace-Kobas said.
Archived article by Aron Goetzl