Michigan State sophomore's jaw broken during attack - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Michigan State sophomore's jaw broken during attack

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The profile photo from Zachary Tennen's Twitter page. The profile photo from Zachary Tennen's Twitter page.

By RON SAVAGE
MyFox Detroit Reporter

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (MyFox Detroit)
-- 19-year-old Zach Tennen, a Michigan State student, suffered major injuries after getting into a fight at a party.  The victim's family is calling it a hate crime, but police aren't so sure.

Tennen, who is from Franklin, has a broken jaw.  The Michigan State University sophomore journalism student told his dad he was assaulted because he is Jewish.

"They should be prosecuted under the full extent of the law as a hate crime," said Bruce Tennen.

Zach out with friends dropped in at a house party on Spartan Avenue in East Lansing at 2:30 Sunday morning.  Later his friends left, Zach stayed, but when he went outside intending to leave later on, he said two guys assaulted him.

"They told Zach that they didn't like African-Americans and they didn't like Jews.  They were members of the KKK.  They were Neo-Nazis, and they were going to be putting a hurt on him."

Bruce Tennen also said Zach saw a guy pull out an office stapler.

"He recalls waking up and seeing a stapler, that they were stapling his gums and trying to hurt him and that he felt he was going to die."

Zach hailed a cab and went to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for treatment.  After surgery, he is home in Franklin recovering.

Police interviewed a suspect in metro Detroit on Tuesday.  He is not a student at Michigan State.

Police said doctors did not see evidence of staples in Zach's mouth, but that he clearly was beaten.  Police interviewed Zach at his home Tuesday.  Investigators also said they have no evidence of Neo-Nazis and that the assault may have been over a girl.  Zach's dad is not buying that.

"It's my intention to get the Anti-Defamation League involved, as well as perhaps a civil rights attorney, and I will see this to the end.  This was a hate crime, and they had indicated to Zach that they didn't like African-Americans and that they didn't like Jewish people, and they said we're members of the KKK."

Zach said there were at least 60 people at the party when he got there.

Police admit very few people have come forward.  They want to hear from those who were at the party on Spartan Avenue and from the cab driver who drove Zach to the hospital, but they don't know the cab company.

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