A Jewish student at Michigan State University said he was attacked at an off-campus party in what he is calling a hate crime.
Just before the assault, which broke his jaw, Zach Tennen said his attackers asked him if he was Jewish, according to reports.
Tennen, 19, a resident of suburban Detroit, said he answered in the affirmative. He told WDIV-TV in Detroit that his attackers also "were making Nazi and Hitler symbols and they said they were part of the KKK."
Tennen was knocked unconscious during the attack, which took place early Sunday morning near MSU's East Lansing campus. The assailants stapled his mouth shut through his gums.
Others at the party watched as Tennen called a taxi to take him to the hospital. His mouth was surgically wired shut.
His family has called the Anti-Defamation League regarding the assault.
ADL responded to the parents of the victim and were in contact with local law enforcement and university officials.
“We are horrified by this violent assault and allegations that the student may have been viciously attacked because he was Jewish,” said Betsy Kellman, ADL Detroit Regional Director.
“We are confident that the East Lansing Police will thoroughly investigate this deeply troubling case and, given the allegations, treat it as a possible hate crime. We hope the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice.”
The university in an email statement referred all questions about the police investigation to the East Lansing Police Department, as the incident occurred off campus.
"Michigan State University's Student Affairs and Services office has reached out to the family of the student who said he was assaulted in East Lansing to provide the academic and other support the student needs," the statement also said.
Tennen plans to return to classes in a week.
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