Suspect named in Elie Wiesel attack

Warrant issued for Eric Hunt, 22; charges include attempted kidnapping.

February 17, 2007 03:29
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Police issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of roughing up Nobel laureate and Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel at a hotel this month. The warrant issued Friday for Eric Hunt, 22, is for charges including attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery and committing a hate crime. Wiesel was a featured speaker at a Feb. 1 peace forum. He was approached in the lobby by a man in his 20s who asked for an interview, police said. Wiesel agreed to talk in the lobby, but the man insisted the interview be conducted in a hotel room, and got into the elevator with Wiesel. Once on the sixth floor, the suspect dragged the 78-year-old off the elevator. Wiesel began yelling, and the suspect ran away, police said. Officers have said investigators were aware that a man had claimed responsibility for the attack in a posting to an anti-Semitic Web site registered in Australia. But police could not comment further Friday. "We're reserving any comment until the time when suspect in custody," said San Francisco Police Sgt. Steve Mannina. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Wiesel said the incident made him fear for his life and left him shaken. It is essential to find who the perpetrator was and whether he acted alone or as part of a group, Wiesel said. Wiesel could not immediately be reached for comment at Boston University, where he teaches, or through the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies in New York. Wiesel survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II. He has worked for human rights around the world and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

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