U. of I. Police offer resources following biased attack

CHAMPAIGN – The University of Illinois Police Department is reminding students about crime reporting options and resources while it assists the Champaign Police Department in following-up on a report that a man was attacked just off campus on March 4.

Last week, the Champaign Police Department shared information about a report that a man was approached from behind and struck in the head and face while walking near First and Daniel streets, Champaign, during the early morning hours of March 4. The unknown attacker yelled derogatory statements regarding the man’s perceived ethnicity during the attack.

The attack was reported to the Champaign Police Department on March 7. Detectives with both the Champaign and University of Illinois police departments are following through with investigation to attempt to identify and arrest the attacker, who was described as a white man in his twenties, about five feet, 10 inches, with a medium build and brown hair. The offender was also reportedly wearing a green “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” T-shirt.

“We are personally troubled any time harm comes to somebody in our campus community,” said University of Illinois Police Chief Jeff Christensen. “The University of Illinois Police Department is committed to the university’s mission to promote a safe and inclusive environment, and we will pursue all of the investigative routes available to do our best to bring a resolution to this incident.”

The department has also received two recent reports of swastikas being drawn on exterior walls of university buildings. Those reports remain under investigation.

The department is reaching out to various campus units to remind them of resources available if they experience violence, threats of violence or any biased-based harassment.

Anyone in immediate danger or who is experiencing an emergency should call 911. Non-emergency incidents may be reported to the University of Illinois Police Department at 217-333-1216 or police@illinois.edu.

Those who are not comfortable reporting incidents or concerns directly to the police can contact the emergency dean 24 hours per day at 217-333-0050. Non-criminal acts of intolerance can be reported to the Office for Student Conflict Resolution anonymously at http://go.illinois.edu/intolerance or by email to tolerance@illinois.edu.

Non-criminal acts of intolerance will be forwarded to the Bias Incident Investigation and Response Team which will review the report and, if appropriate, devise a comprehensive response plan.

“We want to hear from our campus community members about what they are experiencing,” Christensen said. “We very much want to assist and provide resources to our campus community members when they experience bias-based incidents, but we can only do that when we’re made aware of those incidents.”

Those with information about the March 4 incident should contact either the University of Illinois Police Department or the Champaign Police Department. Information may be reported anonymously by contacting Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS (8477), online at http://373tips.com or by downloading the P3 Tips mobile app on iOS or Android.

Anyone with general questions or concerns is encouraged to reach out to the University of Illinois Police Department.