An investigation is underway after a black student at Villanova University told police she was attacked by a group of men who ran towards her while screaming, “Trump.”
The student told Villanova’s Public Safety Department she was walking in the SEPTA tunnel between the university’s West Campus and Main Campus Thursday night. The student says she was then approached by a group of white men who ran towards her and knocked her to the ground, causing her to suffer a head injury. The student said the men were yelling, “Trump! Trump! Trump,” according to a source close to Villanova University.
Villanova’s Public Safety Department contacted Radnor Police who are now handling the investigation. Police are searching for surveillance video of the incident and plan on interviewing the student. Villanova University is investigating the incident as well.
“The University finds this conduct deplorable and considers this racist behavior that runs completely counter to our values,” Jonathan Gust, Villanova’s Director of Media Relations, wrote in a released statement. “Actions such as this will simply not be tolerated at Villanova. Those found responsible for such reprehensible behavior will face serious consequences for their actions and will be disciplined appropriately. The safety and security of our students is always our primary concern. It is at times like this when we must come together in solidarity as a community against such actions.”
Saturday night, Villanova President Peter M. Donohue also released a statement on the reported incident.
“Over the past few days, I have been deeply disturbed by several reports of members of our community using our nation’s political process as a justification for behaviors and language aimed to intimidate or humiliate other people,” he wrote. “This type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at Villanova. Anyone found to have engaged in such behavior will face serious consequences. I ask that anyone who experiences or witnesses such incidents to report it by contacting Villanova’s Public Safety (610-519-4444), calling the local police if it occurs off-campus, or filing a complaint anonymously with Ethics Point.”
The reported incident follows several acts of hateful messages and vandalism in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential win.
On Friday over 100 black freshmen students at UPenn received text messages from an account on the GroupMe app containing racist and violent images and statements, including photos of African-Americans hanging from trees by nooses from users like “Daddy Trump.” An event invitation called "Daily Lynching" also went out to the students added to the group message.
On Thursday students in Bucks County’s Council Rock High School North reported swastikas and threats linked to Donald Trump to school officials.
Finally on Wednesday, both pro and anti-Trump graffiti was spray-painted in Queen Village while Nazi graffiti was found in another South Philadelphia neighborhood.