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Man Charged In Palestinian Student Shooting Faced Girlfriend Complaint

The man charged with shooting three college students of Palestinian descent in Vermont last weekend was accused several years ago of harassing an ex-girlfriend in New York state, but no charges were filed. Jason. Eaton’s ex called the police in 2019 saying she had received numerous text messages, emails, and phone calls that were sexual in nature but not threatening from Eaton and wanted him to stop contacting her, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press. The woman said Eaton had driven his pickup truck by her home one evening and a second time while she was talking to the police officer. She said she didn’t want to press charges against him but just wanted police to tell him to stop contacting her, the report states. Police pulled over Eaton’s vehicle and he told them that he was under the impression that the woman still wanted to see him. The officer told Eaton that the woman wanted absolutely no contact with him and he said he understood.

Eaton, 48, is being held without bail after his arrest Sunday in Burlington on three counts of attempted murder. Authorities say he shot and seriously wounded Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ali Ahmad on Saturday evening as they were walking near the University of Vermont. Authorities are investigating Saturday’s shooting to determine whether it constitutes a hate crime. Threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities have increased across the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war began in October. Eaton had moved to Vermont this summer from the Syracuse, N.Y., area. Eaton’s name appeared in 37 Syracuse police reports from 2007 until 2021, but never as a suspect, said police spokesperson Lt. Matthew Malinowski. The cases ranged from domestic violence to larceny, and Eaton was listed as either a victim or the person filing the complaint in 21 of the reports, Malinowski said.


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