Ithaca Police are investigating an assault of a black Cornell student in Collegetown as a possible hate crime, the city's mayor said.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs / Sun City Editor

Ithaca Police are investigating an assault of a black Cornell student in Collegetown as a possible hate crime, the city's mayor said.

September 15, 2017

Ithaca Police Arrest Cornell Student for Possible Hate Crime in Collegetown

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Ithaca Police arrested a Cornell student on Friday morning following a fight in Collegetown that sent another student to the hospital in what may have been a hate crime, Ithaca’s mayor told The Sun.

Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 said police are investigating an incident in which a black Cornell student said he was called the N-word in Collegetown, preceding a physical confrontation that may have left the student with a concussion.

The student, a junior at Cornell, spoke to The Sun on the condition of anonymity from Cayuga Medical Center, where medical personnel were determining if he has a concussion, he said.

The junior told The Sun that he was walking home on Eddy Street in Collegetown around 1 a.m. on Friday when he attempted to break up a fight in the front yard of his residence. The student said he saw several people who do not live at his residence shoving his friends, and he shouted at them to leave the property.

As a group of four or five white men began to leave the driveway area of the student’s residence, the student said, they repeatedly shouted expletives and racial slurs at him.

“They said ‘Fuck you, nigger,’ over and over, as they were leaving,” he said.

When the junior confronted them, “four or five of the guys came up and started punching me in the face repeatedly,” he said.

“I was pretty bloodied up.”

Another student who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Sun that he was also called a racial slur about an hour later on Friday morning by one of the same students who had assaulted the junior.

In a video obtained by The Sun, two men can be seen confronting another student who is not shown in the video.

“You might be a sand-nigger black, but you’re not black” one man says in the video, later adding: “Come fight us, nigger.”

One man repeats the first phrase at the end of the video. Myrick said Ithaca Police had reviewed the video.

Ithaca Police Lt. John Joly said in a press release that officers responded to 306 Eddy St. at 1:38 a.m. on Friday and took several statements.

Ithaca Police arrested one person and charged that person with one count of assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor. Police did not identify the arrested student.

“There were no significant injuries reported as a result of this incident,” Joly said in the release, adding that the department is investigating all aspects of the complaint, “including any racially biased motivation.”

A supervisor at the Tompkins County Jail said no one had entered the jail on Friday as of about 6:30 p.m., meaning the arrested student likely posted bail before being processed through the jail.

Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, confirmed the incident in an email to students and said the students involved in the assault may have been members of a “currently unaffiliated fraternity.”

“The university has launched an immediate investigation into the full circumstances of the incident,” Lombardi said.

Black Students United at Cornell University said in a statement that the people shouting the racial slurs were members of the Chi Chapter of Psi Upsilon, which had its recognition revoked by Cornell in May of 2016. The former president of Psi Upsilon, Wolfgang Ballinger ’17, pleaded guilty in February to forcible touching and was sentenced to probation.

“Pending the outcome of the investigation, the students responsible will be sanctioned and the ability of the fraternity to return to campus will no longer be considered,” Lombardi said in the statement.

Lombardi did not identify the unaffiliated fraternity, and a university spokesperson declined to do so.

The Cornell Interfraternity Council, in a statement, said, “Now more than ever, we’re committed to be a fighting force against bias and discrimination.”

The junior who said he was attacked told The Sun from the hospital that the incident is “just another reminder” that assaults of this nature occur in the United States.

“I can’t say I’m very surprised, with the political climate in our country and [things] like this happening all around,” he said. “I already know this happens, but it’s just another reminder.”

The student said he had spoken with his family and that they are “worried” about his safety and condition.

Black Students United, in its statement, said that “a young, hopeful black man was robbed of his dignity, safety, and identity” on Friday morning.

“The aftermath of the incident on Friday serves to remind the black population at this school that we are nothing but tokens, paraded around yet never protected,” the organization said.

“What eludes this campus is true equality among students of color and their white counterparts, impeded by superficial conversations about modern racial politics at a predominantly and historically white university,” BSU said.

  • Happy Jack

    Apparently the “n-word,” used lovingly, not once, but twice, by a black man, Larry Wilmore, in reference to Barack Obama, meriting a hug from that supposedly great “African-American” hero, on international TV, no less, during the 2016 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, is enough to get a white man hung.

    Look out for the vicious lib hypocrites! Their razor blades are sharpened to castrate white males.

    And then there’s the Sun’s outrage at the poor, misbegotten dope who shouted “build that wall” while walking past a Latino residential facility.

    Words are lynching offenses at Cornell. Yikes!

    (Cf. the ridiculous uptight censorship satirized by George Carlin in his “7 Words You Can’t Say on TV,”

    Control a man’s language and you control his thoughts.

    Perhaps if Cornell concentrated on knowledge and learning, rather than ideology, it might not be ranked 14th, the lowest in the Ivy League, by US News.

    • Picklepuss

      Against all better judgment, I’m going to engage with you. A simple question about your humanity — why is your first response to an article about an assault against a student to set up a defense against “vicious lib hypocrites?”

      • Happy Jack

        Because the assailant’s worst crime is not violence, but political incorrectness, wrong words. See Clockwork Orange (and be afraid).

        • Casey Jones

          Happy? I fear you have failed to ID the central moral wrong from this encounter. It is NOT the state’s or liberalism’s interference with the young men’s intellectual freedom to use racial slurs and to assault a black man. Read it again.

          • Happy Jack

            This article is about the “n-word,” not about a fight.

            If there was no “n-word,” the story might not have been covered or, at the least, it would have been a much shorter article. The story is about outrage at a violation of identity politics, of ideology.

            Note that the Sun is withholding my other comments, “pending moderation,” meaning censorship.

            My point is that the “n-word” has been used everywhere by blacks, in songs and even in the White House. I was jogging up a hill on a hot day, sweating profusely, when, from a passing car full of black, high-school students, someone shouted the “n-word” at me.

            Other ethnic groups (Latinos, Italians, Chinese, Jews, etc.) do not liberally use their respective racial slurs the way blacks do. This is racist. Blacks are allowed to use language which is forbidden to other races. And white libs enforce this double standard, just as they do in so many other situations. Political correctness does not do away with hierarchies, it just reverses them.

            Control a man’s language and you control his thoughts.

            Again, see Clockwork Orange (and be afraid).

  • Blanc2

    Drunken entitled frat boys, really the worst of America.

    • Batters Box

      Nope I’d say hood rats and their welfare entitled baby mamas are.

  • Happy Jack

    I am being blocked from posting.

    • big KRIT

      lol yah cause ur comments are trash you dingbat

  • Jay Wind

    If Cornell students believe in equal treatment, I would hope that the student who vandalized our campus turns himself or herself in to the Judicial Administrator. Spray painting University buildings is a cowardly act that detracts from an important dialog about race on campus.

    • Cdawson65

      It’s not a University building.

      • mma_ko

        It is still a crime. I actually agree .. prosecute the person committing the assault … prosecute the vandal too. Can’t choose sides .

    • big KRIT

      I’ll take “Misplaced Priorities” for $400, Alex

  • mma_ko

    Racism is abhorred and should be eradicated first of all. However, let’s look beyond the surface at what may be fueling this at schools and the country for that matter. We need to remove all special treatment for all groups, ranging from special treatment for admissions to free headstart summer programs for students who probably should not have been accepted in the first place, while other groups are not even allowed to pay to attend.

    • Forum Noctua

      Black Students United exists because of White racism. You’re ignorant.

      • mma_ko

        Am I? What about the preferential treatment? What’s your opinion on that? Do you think it’s fair? To be clear, I prefer a pure meritocracy. If you’re not qualified or good enough to make a school, or a sports team, or a place in student government, you shouldn’t and I don’t care if you’re white, black, brown, yellow or green!

        • Forum Noctua

          Pure meritocracy is a myth in the context of racism, inequality, and inequity in this country. If the playing field is level, meritocracy works well. But when Bob starts at level 5 and Sarah at level -5, Sarah may work 2x harder than Bob only to reach level 0. Your view reflects a world in which we currently do not live. In a world void of racism, I definitely agree with you.

        • Forum Noctua

          Also, preferential treatment is definitely not fair. For that reason, it’s upsetting when Psi U thugs get away with sexual assault, hate crime, and other iniquity based on the privilege they are afforded due to race, class and gender.

          • desertCard

            But they didn’t get away with it did they? the fraternity has been banned, alleged racial incident has resulted in arrest… How exactly did they get away with it?

          • mma_ko

            Some will only see what they want to see.

          • desertCard

            That makes no sense. Are you speaking for yourself?

          • mma_ko

            I’m agreeing with your prior comment. No one got away with it.

          • desertCard

            My bad.

        • Powerful Sorcerer

          Nothing is wrong with Black Students United, or a Young Republicans Group. Students are adults and they are perfectly capable of associating with who they want to, without being accused of segregation. The issue here is someone committed a violent crime against another person and for that they need to be incarcerated.

        • JimmyPete

          If you think blacks have preferential treatment ride through any suburb and look at all the blacks in McMansions then ride through the ghetto’s [try up Springfield avenue start in Newark NJ and drive about ten miles ] tell me how many white faces you see waiting for a bus .

      • Ezra Tank

        You don’t fight racism and segregation with racism and segregation mma_ko is correct. If you want equality then you need to eliminate ALL the groups that self segregate.

        • Powerful Sorcerer

          This talk about segregation is utterly bullshit. As an adult, it is my right to associate with whoever I want, to join whatever group I want, etc. If someone wants to join a group that’s mostly English, Japanese, Black, etc they have every right to do so.

          What someone does not have the right to do is to commit a criminal act and assault someone. These groups cannot be gotten rid of because you cannot force so called integration on people. People have to WANT to genuinely be around other people. You cannot force genuine acceptance, nor can you use a criminal act to force your political agenda on others. No one is going to change the way they associate because of this.

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  • Ezra Tank

    How is this a hate crime and not just assault?

    • Loki

      When you throw a racial slur in the mix it becomes a hate crime.

      • Ezra Tank

        Nonsense. Assault (fighting) is assault.

        So if a black during a fight says, “I’m going to F U up white boy” it’s a hate crime?

        • Batters Box

          HAhA yeah, they do it all the time but never charged..

        • Barryfromkenya

          Of course not

  • Loki


  • Ken Pavlik

    The one guy appears to be eating ice cream. Wow, you have to be super mean to carry out a hate crime and then celebrate with racial slurs and ice cream. Did the Cnell president actually respond to this? What a joke Cnell has become.

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  • Sandra Rodriguez

    How wise is it to ruin your education to prove you’re superior over another race? Quite stupid if you ask me and hardly shows superiority. This stays with you when looking for jobs and building a life so who’s really the insecure, inferior and stupid ones?

  • JimmyPete

    wow and a majority of all Republicans think whites suffer discrimination

    • Mohammad Izzaterd

      Blacks are the most privileged race on Earth. They are given preferential treatment in jobs, schools and govt employment. What are they bitching about.

  • Mohammad Izzaterd

    Spare me. What a bunch of wusses. It looks like the black guys wanted to start an argument. They got it, then they whine about mean old whitey saying bad things to them. What a crock.

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