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Muslim groups call road rage attack against professor a hate crime

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 19:54:37-04

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- It started as a road rage attack, but now Muslim groups are calling for a change after they say a professor was attacked outside his home in West Lafayette over the weekend because he is a Muslim.

Police arrested Austin Bradley Gregory, 21, after the attack. He’s charged with battery, which is a misdemeanor charge.

The victim is a 37-year-old Canadian citizen of Egyptian descent. He told police that when he backed out of a parking space, a woman driving a gold Cadillac honked and cursed at him, yelling ‘Go home you foreigner.’

The two vehicles took the same roads on the way home and Gregory told police that the professor tried to run him off the road. But the professor says he was just passing him on the right.

When the professor got to his home he asked Gregory what was wrong, police say that was when he was punched and kicked. The victim told police that the woman driving the Cadillac yelled ‘kill him, kill him’ while he was being attacked.

The Council on American Islamic Relations issued a statement saying  the incident points to the critical need for legislation mandating hate crime enhancements.

The council also said that public figures like Donald Trump are using Islamaphobic rhetoric, spurring this type of behavior.

The Purdue Muslim Student Association shares the same feeling. Purdue University spokesman Brian Zink issued the following statement, “We trust our colleagues in Tippecanoe County law enforcement will conduct their typically prompt and aggressive investigation, and take whatever action is warranted.”

The victim told the Council on American Islamic Relations that he will not stay here, if he doesn’t see justice.

Gregory was released on a $257 bond. The woman who was driving the car was not charged.