A Columbia University football player has been charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime after he allegedly threatened another student with racial slurs, NBC News reports.
Chad Washington, 19, allegedly followed a 19-year-old Asian student early Sunday morning, called him ethnic slurs and then grabbed him by the collar and pushed him against a wall.
The victim told police that he was walking with two female friends when Washington and his friends began heckling the women, according to NBC News. When the victim tried to defend his friends, Washington started calling him slurs and following him.
According to the Columbia University Athletics Department’s website, Washington is a junior and defensive lineman from Oakland, Calif.
Police are investigating whether Washington’s friends were involved in the harassment.
Columbia released the following statement regarding the incident: “We can only say that Columbia is widely recognized for the core values long defining us as an urban university community: the multicultural diversity of our students, faculty and staff; our openness to people and ideas; and tolerance for our differences. And we will continue to be guided by these essential values.”