A man has been charged with a hate crime after allegedly attacking an Asian student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last month.
What happened: Gary J. Stephens Jr., 34, reportedly approached the male student at around 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 16. While the student was holding his phone, Stephens went up to him and slapped it, ultimately damaging it. Stephens also used an anti-Asian slur during the attack, according to campus police.
- The student was standing at a bus stop near the Nicholas Recreation Center when the incident occurred, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. As he picked up his phone, Stephens — who was already walking away — returned, assumed a “fighting posture” and asked, “What are you going to do about it?”
- Fearing for his safety, the student fled the scene.
The charges: Stephens has been charged with three counts of bail jumping, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct as a hate crime. Stephens’ maximum jail sentence has been extended from 90 days to one year due to the hate crime penalty enhancer.
- Officers who had previous contact with Stephens identified him in surveillance videos and images from a local Walgreens store. He was arrested on Oct. 30 on separate charges.
- During a court hearing on Wednesday, Stephens’ bail was set at $300, in addition to $600 for unrelated charges. He was also banned from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, where he has no recorded affiliation.
The Oct. 16 incident was the second University of Wisconsin-Madison incident that targeted an Asian student in recent months. On Sept. 15, Morgan R. Kroll, 37, spat on a female Asian student’s face, an unprovoked attack the victim believes was motivated by racism.
Featured Image via Czar