August 19, 2012

Mayor, President Skorton Condemn Alleged Racial Assault in Collegetown

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Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 and President David Skorton released a joint statement  Monday condemning an alleged verbal and physical assault of multiple Cornell students in Collegetown early Sunday morning.

In the statement, which also addresses and welcomes “newcomers to Ithaca,” Myrick and Skorton expressed “concern and dismay” over the bias incident and said that the case is “being addressed appropriately and effectively” by the police and the court.

Multiple Cornell students were yelled at, then physically struck and pushed in the area of 200 Eddy Street at 1:43 a.m. Sunday, according to Ithaca Police.

Anthony K. Stephans, who is not associated with the University, reportedly started yelling “derogatory, sexual, and racial slurs” at the victims as they walked down the street, according to Ithaca Police. Stephans then allegedly proceeded to physically strike and push the victims without provocation as he continued yelling, police said.

Police said the victims then attempted escape by entering a nearby residence, though the man reportedly still followed the students and banged on the house’s door. Before the officers reached the scene, Stephans was physically removed by his friends, according to Ithaca Police.

As the officers were investigating the incident, the victims spotted the man and he was taken into custody.

Stephans will return to Ithaca City Court on Aug. 29 for further legal action. The students were contacted by crisis managers from the Dean of Students office and are receiving “our full support,” according to the University statement from Susan Murphy ’73, vice president of student and academic services.

Murphy condemned the incident in the statement, saying that “Cornell University deplores incidents such as this that tear at the fabric of respect and inclusiveness that we value so highly and work continually to maintain.”

Original Author: Jinjoo Lee