An Indiana University student allegedly attacked a Muslim woman after shouting “white power!” according to police and witnesses.
Triceten Bickford, 19, who has since apologized, shouted derogatory statements at a Muslim woman and her nine-year-old daughter as they were sitting in a café in Bloomington, according to police. Bickford was off campus.
Bickford reportedly shouted “white power,” “kill them all,” and “kill the police” at the mother and daughter before grabbing the woman by the neck and slamming her head into a table. He also allegedly attempted to remove her headscarf.
According to a police report from the Bloomington Police Department, the woman’s daughter described what Bickford did to her mother: “ [He] began squeezing her neck and forcing her head down toward the table.”
The woman’s husband rushed to her aide and along with another man was able to subdue Bickford until police arrived. It is also reported that the teen spit in the man’s face and continued making threats.
Bickford was arrested on the scene and when taken into custody, he kicked the patrol car windows. When they arrived at the Monroe County Jail, Bickford bit an officer in the lower leg, police said.
The student was issued a BAC test and his blood alcohol intake was .195.
He now faces preliminary charges of intimidation, public intoxication, misdemeanor battery, felony-level battery, minor consumption of alcohol, and strangulation.
The FBI was made aware of the attack and according to Fox59, spokeswoman Wendy Osborne said: “FBI has been made aware of the situation, and they’re in a research and information gathering mode. They are checking to see if Federal law has been violated. If that’s the case, they will open a Civil Rights case.”
The university also released a statement on Bickford’s incident.
“Indiana University is aware of the horrifying incident involving one of our students and a member of the Bloomington Muslim community over the weekend.
“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. The university is closely monitoring the Bloomington Police investigation into this matter, and IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel has instructed the Dean of Students office to conduct its own investigation into the incident.”
"I'm so sorry to that woman. I have no idea who she is, but words can't explain how much that ... I've never hurt someone like that before,” he said.
He also said: "That's not who I am. I'm not a hateful person. I love people. I don't know where that came from,”
Bickford also said that he has no memory of the incident and had been drinking heavily that day and didn’t take his anti-anxiety medication that day as well.