Indiana University student stabbed in head in ‘racially motivated’ attack

INDIANA — An Indiana University student was stabbed in the head during a bus ride last Wednesday in Bloomington, Indiana, in an unprovoked attack officials described as a “racially motivated incident.”

The student, an 18-year-old woman who has not been publicly identified, was waiting for the doors of the Bloomington Transit bus to open at 4:45 p.m. when she was stabbed multiple times in the head, the Bloomington Police Department said in a statement on Thursday with .

After the attack, another bus passenger followed the suspect on foot and helped officers arrest the individual, Billie R. Davis, 56, of Bloomington, police said.

According to court documents, Davis was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon. Video footage from inside the bus showed Davis and the victim had not interacted before the attack, police said.

Davis reportedly told the Bloomington Police Department that she assaulted the student because she was “Chinese.”

The student was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not known as of Sunday. The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana signed a hate crimes law into law in 2019, providing longer sentences for crimes motivated by bias, including racial bias. It was unclear if it could be used in the Davis case.

The Bloomington Police Department and Davis’ attorneys did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said in a statement that the stabbing was a “brutal attack.”

“This behavior is unacceptable and will be addressed accordingly,” Hamilton said. “We know that when a racially motivated incident like this resonates throughout the community, we can feel less safe. We stand with the Asian community and all who feel threatened by this event.”

James C. Wimbush, a vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs at Indiana University, said in a statement Friday that the attack was a reminder “that anti-Asian hatred is real and can have painful effects on individuals and our community.” “. .

The Bloomington attack comes amid a surge in hate crimes against Asians. The increase in attacks prompted federal lawmakers last year to pass the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, which gave government and law enforcement officials more tools and resources to stop, monitor and respond to such crimes.

Indiana University’s Asian Culture Center, an on-campus resource organization, said in a statement Friday that it was “outraged and heartbroken by this unprovoked act of violence.” NEW YORK TIMES