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Possible hate crime investigated at East Carolina
GREENVILLE, N.C. — Police have arrested one man in connection with a potential anti-gay hate crime and assault on two women on the campus of East Carolina University (ECU). Investigators are also looking for a second man they think was involved in the incident, which occurred early Friday morning outside of a campus dormitory.
Two women, 18 and 19 years old, were exiting the dorm when a group of men allegedly began hurling anti-gay slurs at them. One woman was spat on when she confronted the group and was later hit by Bryan Berg, 18. Berg was arrested for assault on a female. He’s been released under a $27,000 bond.
Both women were treated at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. One was released, but the other remains hospitalized after suffering a broken jaw.
“We have to look at all the elements of the incident to see if they meet the federal requirements to be classified as a hate crime, including what was said and the actions that occurred. At this time, we believe it was an isolated incident,” Assistant ECU Police Chief Dawn Tevepaugh told The Daily Reflector.
Aaron Lucier, director of ECU’s LGBT Union, told the daily paper he’s confident police will conduct a fair investigation.
“Hate crime or not, it was a violent act, something we don’t want on our campus,” Lucier said. “We have a campus here that celebrates diversity on all levels. Our students find an educational campus here that is welcoming, but also learning, so it is a space that our students will find supportive and welcoming.”
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