After an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University said he was hurt in a campus hit-and-run, California authorities are investigating it as a potential hate crime. The student said he was crossing a street on foot Friday afternoon. Stanford’s Department of Public Safety, which identified the victim as an Arab Muslim, the student told authorities that the driver made eye contact before accelerating and striking him. He said the driver shouted an obscenity at him, then left the area, the Wall Street Journal reports. The victim’s injuries weren’t life-threatening.
The suspected vehicle was described as a black SUV with a mounted tire in the back. Stanford police said additional patrols and security had been added to the campus after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Stanford University President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez said they were disturbed by the hit-and-run incident. “Violence on our campus is unacceptable. Hate-based violence is morally reprehensible, and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” they said. Tensions have escalated on college campuses over the war in Israel and Gaza. Some campus groups in support of Palestinians have issued statements blaming Israel for policies that they said led to the violence, and put pressure on university leaders to condemn the latest attacks. Those efforts led to an intense backlash from some advocates of Israel, who have demanded to see the names of the students associated with groups that signed the pro-Palestinian statements and demanded that universities do more to safeguard Jewish students.