The authorities have opened a hate crime investigation into the report of a hit-and-run on Friday that left an Arab Muslim student injured at Stanford University.
According to the university, a black S.U.V. hit the student on the campus in Stanford, Calif., just before 2 p.m. The driver left the scene, and the student was being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
The student told university officials that the driver, whom he described as a white man in his mid-20s driving a Toyota 4Runner, made eye contact with him before accelerating and striking him, according to an advisory shared by the public safety department at Stanford on Saturday. The student told officials that the man then drove away while shouting an expletive and referring to “you and your people.”
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said that it had opened a hate crime investigation based on preliminary information from the California Highway Patrol. Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the Highway Patrol commented further on the investigation. The authorities did not release the driver’s name.
In a statement shared by a student group that has been organizing sit-ins on campus to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza amid its war with Hamas, the student who reported being struck said that he recognized the driver as someone “who had previously shown animosity” toward his community and that he was disappointed in what he described as a slow and inadequate response by the university.
A spokeswoman for Stanford University said in an email that campus authorities issued information to the campus community as soon as they had enough details to do so.
In a statement shared with the Stanford community on Friday, the university’s president, Richard Saller, and its provost, Jenny Martinez, said that they were “profoundly disturbed to hear this report of potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus.” Such violence, they added, is “morally reprehensible, and we condemn it in the strongest terms.”
The hate crime investigation comes as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war have roiled university campuses. Last month, the personal information of Harvard students was published online after they signed a letter, published on the night of the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, saying that Israel was responsible for the violence. Columbia recently closed its campus to the public amid tensions between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinians protesters, and Cornell canceled classes last week after antisemitic threats.
In the wake of the hit-and-run report, Stanford’s public safety department said that it was deploying additional security at “key locations” on campus.