The victim reported the assault to police late Monday night saying he was attacked on Saturday night in an Iowa City alleyway. According to a news release from police, the man was assaulted “by multiple subjects while being called racial slurs.”
The family of 19-year-old Marcus Owens said he was hospitalized after the attack and needed a dozen stitches to his lip and had a damaged eye socket.
University of Iowa officials say they first learned of the incident late Tuesday afternoon when contacted by a Chicago television station (WLS).
The University of Iowa released a statement on the assault this afternoon:
Earlier today, the University of Iowa Police Department issued a Crime Alert after learning one of our students reported a racially motivated attack. We are saddened and outraged by the horrible event that transpired Saturday evening. This kind of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The UI Police are working with the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) to investigate. Students have a right to feel safe on this campus.
The dean of students and the president met with Marcus and his family. His safety and well-being are our first priority. If UI students were involved, they will be subject to disciplinary procedures under the student code of conduct.
University of Iowa officials first learned of the incident late Tuesday afternoon from members of the media, but at that time they did not have any details or a police report to share publicly. UI Police contacted ICPD Wednesday morning. Once ICPD provided details of the report, UI Police issued a Crime Alert.
We later learned that the student did visit UI Police late Monday night, but because the crime occurred off campus, he was directed to ICPD to file a report. This was intended to prevent the victim from having to share his story multiple times. However, we now recognize this as a failure in current UI protocol and will be working with many campus and community partners, including ICPD, to improve reporting mechanisms for the future.
The University of Iowa is working to create a climate of inclusion, and this hate crime demonstrates we have a great deal of work left to do.
Bruce Harreld, President
P. Barry Butler, Executive Vice President and Provost
Georgina Dodge, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President
Tom Rocklin, Vice President for Student Life
Lucy Wiederholt, Interim Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety
Lyn Redington, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President
Rachel Zuckerman, UISG President
Lauren Freeman, UISG Vice President
Joshua Schoenfeld, GPSG President
Jasmine Mangrum, GPSG Vice President