Skip to main content

Michigan Teen Zach Tennen Attacked for Being Jewish, Police Say It's 'Not Likely a Hate Crime'

A Jewish student at Michigan State University was beaten unconscious and had his mouth stapled early Sunday morning. According to the Daily Mail, the attackers beat him after they found out he was Jewish and made anti-Semitic remarks throughout the ordeal.

Local police say the assault was "not likely a hate crime," though the attackers, who claim to be Ku Klux Klan, raised their arms in a Nazi salute and yelled "Heil Hitler" before they beat the teen.

Investigators have identified a possible suspect, but no further information was revealed.

Zach Tennen, 19, said the attackers knocked him unconscious and stapled his gums. "It was coming up in my two bottom teeth and it started in my gum, so, somehow they managed to staple it," he said. 

His mother said there were about 20 people at the party who witnessed the incident but did not help. 

Tennen was "thrown out" of the party after the attack and took a cab to the local hospital where he discovered he had a broken jaw. His jaw was later wired shut at a Detroit hospital. 

The Tennen family reached out to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization fighting anti-Semitism, to inform them about the attack. 

ADL Detroit Regional Director Betsey Kellman told MailOnline that they are "horrified by this violent assault and allegations that the student may have been viciously attacked because he was Jewish." 

Despite the authorities' disbelief that the incident was a hate crime, Kellman has confidence that the police will thoroughly investigate the attack and "treat it as a possible hate crime." 

Michigan State's Student Affairs and Services said they have "reached out to the family of the student assaulted in East Lansing to provide the academic and other support the student needs." 

They promise to work with Tennen and his professors to "ensure he can fulfill his academic requirements." 

Because the attack occurred off-campus, the university said all questions about the investigation should go to the East Lansing Police Department. 


Popular Video