The FBI is investigating whether an Indiana University student's attack on a Muslim woman over the weekend was a hate crime under federal law.
The student, 19-year-old Triceten Bickford, allegedly started shouting "white power" and "kill them all" while the 49-year-old woman was sitting inside a cafe in Bloomington, Ind., with her nine-year-old daughter. Bickford reportedly "grabbed the woman by her neck and slammed her head into the table, "according to local news outlet Fox 59, trying to take her headscarf off. He then reportedly kicked the windows of the police car he was taken away in, and later bit a police officer on the leg at the police station.
He was released on $500 bond. WTHR reports that he was back in classes at IU Bloomington on Monday, saying he didn't remember anything about the incident.
"That's not who I am. I'm not a hateful person," Bickford told WTHR. “I love people. I don't know where that came from." He said he had been drinking and hadn't taken his anti-anxiety medication.
The university released a statement saying they will investigate the incident, but for the moment Bickford does not appear to be facing any kind of disciplinary action. Some are calling for the college to take a more decisive stance:
He is due back in court Friday to face charges of strangulation, and battery of a police officer. Indiana does not have a hate crimes statute, WTHR points out, but Bickford could face federal hate crimes charges through the FBI investigation.