Police: Michigan beating not a hate crime

A Jewish student at Michigan State University charged he was the victim of a hate crime when he was attacked at an off-campus party in the Detroit area.

But the East Lansing Police Department said that a preliminary investigation has determined that the Aug. 26 incident likely was not a hate crime, the State News reported.

Zach Tennen, 19, said that just before the assault, his attackers asked him if he was Jewish and that he answered in the affirmative, according to reports. Tennen, a resident of suburban Detroit and a sophomore at the university, 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 and his jaw was broken. 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.

The university in an email statement referred all questions about the police investigation to East Lansing Police, as the incident occurred off campus. — jta