Police investigate attack on gay student at DePaul University

Mon. March 9, 2009 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Chicago, IL - DePaul University officials are warning students of two recent hate crimes on the University campus, both having occurred in the last month. The Chicago Police Department's Hate Crime Division is investigating both incidents.

19-year-old Patrick Stewart, a student at DePaul University, says three men kicked him and beat him while calling him queer and spewing hateful things at him not far from the North Side campus last month. The Feb. 6 incident occurred in the 2100 Block of North Kenmore.

In the second incident on March 3, posters featuring a Palestinian guest speaker in the DePaul Student Center were defaced with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti. The graffiti included: "Go home N----," "Remember Hitler," "whites only" and images of swastikas.

"Racial and ethnic intimidation is not a college prank, it is a crime," University President the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider told students after the incident.

DePaul University spokesperson Denise Mattson told WBBM Radio the campus has been politically charged since late January when a new campus organization, the DePaul Conservative Alliance, conducted an "affirmative action bake sale" at which blacks were charged less than whites.

In response to the two incidents, students on campus are forming a hate-awareness group.

Stewart told CBS 2 Chicago he's grateful for the support but struggles to understand why someone would attack him.

Those with information about these crimes are asked to call the Chicago Police at 3-1-1 or the DePaul Public Safety Department at 773-325-7777.