NEW MEXICO (JNS) – A Jewish student at the University of New Mexico was taken to the hospital after being the victim of an alleged hate-crime attack.
Israeli Roni Saponar was treated for internal bleeding and a concussion, reported KOB 4. The college freshman said a group of men beat him during a party in Albuquerque earlier in May when he was wearing a shirt that said, “Just Jew It.”
He claimed the suspects also stole his shoes and watch, and yelled anti-Semitic slurs at him.
“They weren’t just trying to take my stuff—there was a feeling behind it,” he said. “There had to be some kind of anger behind it.”
Saponar and his family members posted pictures of his injuries on social media to raise awareness about anti-Semitism.
He said, “I’m here because I want to portray a message: Be proud of who you are. That’s what it is; that’s why I want to do this.”
Scott Levin, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Mountain States region, said the ADL is “outraged and appalled” by the violent attack, as well as the alleged anti-Semitism that prompted it.
“We strongly encourage law enforcement to fully investigate this assault, including the allegations of anti-Semitism,” he said. “And we encourage prosecutors to pursue hate-crime charges if evidence shows that the student was attacked by the group because of his Jewish identity.”
A spokesperson with the Albuquerque Police Department said it’s too early to determine if the incident was a hate crime. An investigation is ongoing; no arrests have been made.