MSU student’s mouth stapled, jaw broken in reported hate crime attack
A 19-year-old Michigan State University student is recovering at home in Oakland County today after surgery overnight for a broken jaw his family says stems from a brutal hate crime.
Two men at a party early Sunday attacked Zachary Tennen, a journalism sophomore at MSU, after asking whether he was Jewish, his mother, Tina Tennen, said today.
They raised their arms in a Nazi salute, chanting “Heil Hitler” and then knocked Tennen unconscious, she said.
While he was out, the men stapled his mouth, putting a staple into his gum, she said.
Tennen said her son said no one at the party helped him as he was attacked then thrown out of the gathering. He took a cab to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for initial treatment, but underwent surgery in metro Detroit overnight to have his jaw wired shut, his mother said.
“I’m really, really upset in a few ways,” Zachary Tennen, said, according to the MSU student newspaper the State News. “First of all it is a terrible experience, physically and also mentally to know someone would do something like this,” he said before his surgery, despite the difficulties for him to talk.
“It almost seemed like they tried to kill me, and to think about that in my brain, physically — it isn’t very pleasant.”
The family has filed a report with East Lansing Police.
A young man who answered the door at the house where the reported assault took place would say only that police had instructed him not to talk about the incident.
Tennen has been involved with MSU Hillel, the Jewish student community center in East Lansing. He ate dinner there Saturday night, a reunion of sorts for a group he had traveled with to Israel this past May.
UPDATE: Police who are investigating the attack are saying that is most likely not a hate crime. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/283691_Police-_MI_Student_Attack_Prob