Police investigate hate crimes at Miami U

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Oxford Police are investigating a claim of a hate based attack on a student at Miami University.

The attack on Saturday was the third hate-related crime to take place on Miami University's campus within the last 12 months.

Community leaders are taking these crimes seriously.

"It was pretty shocking to me, it's pretty much the first time anything like this has ever happened," said the victim, who did not was to be identified.

The Miami University junior claims he was the victim of a racially driven attack while walking home early Saturday morning.

"All of a sudden I heard one of them say the "n" word, and I thought, 'Oh wow that might have been directed toward me,'" he said. "So I continued to walk because I thought they were trying to provoke me or whatever. Then I heard footstep and the next thing you know I got tackled."

The victim says he began fighting off his attackers, punching one of them in the mouth. The victim was unable to get a good look at the suspects and describes them as two white males, who appeared to be college students.

"We want to get the word out in Oxford, that yes this does happen in Oxford and that hate still persists," said Oxford City Manager Douglas Elliot.

Elliot serves as the Director of the Community Relations Commission. He says three hate related incidents have been reported this year, the first in the spring, when several students claimed to be verbally abused about their homosexuality. Another incident happened in September when three black females reported being verbally harassed by a middle aged white man.

Now, the Community Relations Commission will begin discussing ways to educate the public in order prevent any future hate related crimes.

"We are serious about folks yelling racial slurs and obviously those who chose to assault someone based on the color or their skin or sexual orientation," said Elliot. "We simply won't tolerate that in Oxford."

"I probably shouldn't be walking home by myself anyways, and I should be more cautious about my surroundings," said the victim.

Police are urging students or anyone in the community that falls victim to one of these hate related crimes to immediately call police.

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