A possible anti-Semitic hate crime is being investigated after police responded to an alleged assault against two members of a Jewish fraternity near Towson University campus early Sunday morning, the Baltimore Sun reported.
According to a Baltimore County police report, the two victims, both members of the national college fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, were walking to a house when two suspects followed them, shouting "Fuck the Jews."
The assailants then followed both men to the front of the house where they punched one of the victims in the face.
“He believes the assault was motivated by his religious beliefs,” the police report said of one of the victims.
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The victim told police he recognized the assailants as Towson University students.
When police arrived at the scene after one of the victims called 911, the officers saw the two suspects standing over the victim and yelling at him.
According to the police report, both suspects appeared to be intoxicated, and their identities have been concealed because they have not yet been charged. The victims haven't pressed charges against the assailants as of Monday.
A spokesman for the university confirmed that the assailants and victims are Towson students.
“The incident has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity to launch a full investigation on the basis that the incident was reported as both assault as well as hate-bias,” Sean Welsh said in an emailed statement. “All reports are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”
If the assailants are found responsible, Welsh added, the suspects could face sanctions “up to and including suspension or expulsion.”
Hate crimes at Towson University are uncommon, according to a 2016 campus security report.
A spokesman for AEPi said that the Jewish fraternity believes that without question the incident was a hate crime.
“We are working with University and local officials to bring these perpetrators of hate and violence to justice,” Jon Pierce said in an email. “In the meantime, we are taking steps to protect our brothers at Towson and around the world.”
Pierce referred to reports by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks anti-Semitic incidents on a national level. According to the group, anti-Semitic incidents increased by 60 percent in 2017 nationwide.
“We will continue to stand up against this kind of hate and protect our values and our ongoing belief that [Alpha Epsilon Pi] and Jewish students on college campuses should feel safe,” Pierce concluded.