EAST LANSING, Mich (wxyz) - Police in East Lansing say it's unlikely a weekend assault on an Michigan State University student was a hate crime.
However, the 19-year-old victim, Zachery Tennen, and his parents disagree.
Zach says he was at an off campus party early Sunday morning when two young men asked him if he was Jewish. When he answered "yes," Zach says the two men started making Nazi gestures and said they were part of the KKK.
It was about 20 minutes later that Zach says someone punched him and knocked him out.
When he woke up, Zach's jaw was broken and he had a staple in the bottom of his mouth. He took a cab to Sparrow Hospital and then called his mother and father.
"I think this is a heinous crime and it sickens me," says Bruce Tennnen, Zach's dad.
Bruce Tennen, his wife and Zach all believe this happened because Zach is Jewish.
However, police told the Tennen's they believe this was a dispute over a girl.
Bruce Tennen says his son talked to a few girls at the party, but didn't pursue any of them. He also says his son has never even had a long term girlfriend.
Police say they have a possible suspect.
Zach's dad says if they arrest and charge someone just with assault, he will hire his own lawyer and try to pursue an ethnic intimidation or hate crime in Federal court.
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