Triceten Bickford has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly attacking a Muslim woman in Bloomington, Indiana. The Fort Wayne man is accused of shouting a racial slur and attempting to remove the woman’s headscarf. The FBI has been informed that the teenager is accused of a hate crime, as federal law now dictates.
Bickford, 19, has been charged with multiple felonies for the alleged hate crime attack on the 47-year-old Muslim woman. The unidentified woman was standing outside of a Turkish cafe in Bloomington on Saturday when the incident occurred. Triceten has been charged with strangulation, battery, and intimidation, according to Mashable.
— AMERICA (@ThisIsAmerica) October 21, 2015
The Indiana Muslim woman was reportedly sitting at a table with her 9-year-old daughter when Bickford allegedly approached and began shouting “white power.” The Bloomington teenager then allegedly shouted “anti-black racial slurs” and “kill the police.” After shouting at the woman, the teen is then accused of grabbing her by the neck and forcing her head forward in an attempt to remove her headscarf. The Muslim woman said she experienced difficulty breathing during the alleged physical altercation.
The teenager told law enforcement investigators that he had no memory of committing the alleged hate crime. Triceten Bickford also reportedly told the police he had consumed alcohol and was not taking his anti-anxiety medication, prompting him to lose control.
Bickford was attending Indiana University but was suspended from the school after accused of a hate crime. The college sophomore may appeal the suspension because he has merely been accused and not convicted of any crime.
— Allegra Kirkland (@allegrakirkland) October 19, 2015
An Indiana Daily Student article addressed the suspension of Triceten Bickford after being arrested on hate crime charges.
“This type of abhorrent behavior is not representative of our students, nor of the culture of inclusion and tolerance so many people at the university and in the Bloomington community have worked so hard to foster.”
Bickford was reportedly restrained by onlookers and the Muslim woman’s husband until police could arrive. The teenager is also accused of spitting in the faces of the police officers and threatening to kill them. After being removed from the Sofra Cafe property and placed inside of the police cruiser, Triceten attempted to kick out the windows of the vehicle and bit the calf of an officer.
The Indiana teen accused of committing a hate crime was released from jail on $705 bail.
According to IU representative Mark Land, Bickford was attending IU-Purdue University Indianapolis last year and transferred to IU-Bloomington this semester. He was studying Psychology. The Indiana University will also conduct an investigation of the alleged hate crime against the Muslim woman.
The following is an excerpt from a release written by IU Provost Lauren Robel.
“Our campus was shocked by a horrifying attack against a member of the Bloomington Muslim community over the weekend. Our community, with one voice, denounces this attack and stands with the victim and her family. Indiana University abhors all violence and will not tolerate it in any form. We all join the outpouring of care and concern for the Muslim members of our community from students, faculty and staff.”
Robel also noted in the statement that students who feel overwhelmed or need assistance coping with the alleged hate crime incident can speak with professionals at the IU Counseling and Psychological Services at the campus health center.
Do you think the federal government should be involved with hate crimes? Should a physical altercation crime be charged or treated differently if a racial or another type of bias appears to have been involved?
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