A Harvard Law School student is being held in a hospital after allegedly targeting classmates in a racial and homophobic attack.
Naod Nega has been arrested and charged with assault and battery for the purpose of intimidation.
Nega allegedly assaulted a fellow student, hurled homophobic and racist slurs, and threateningly brandished a baseball bat outside the law school library on Jan. 23, according to the Cambridge Police Department. “The male…punched a college student in an unprovoked attack, and intimidated them due their sexual orientation,” the Feb. 1 statement read.
A witness thought that Nega may have been on drugs at the time of the attack or may have missed taking medication, implying mental illness was involved, The Harvard Crimson reported.
Cambridge police said Nega was initially sent to a local hospital but was transferred to the Bridgewater State Hospital on Jan. 27 after “assault[ing] at least five employees during his stay.”
During an arraignment on Jan. 27, in which he pleaded not guilty to the on-campus attack, a Cambridge District Court judge ordered for Nega to be evaluated for long-term treatment at the hospital, local news outlet NCEN reported.
Harvard Law School spokesperson Jeff Neal referred The Daily Beast to a statement previously made by Harvard Assistant Dean and Dean of Students Stephen Ball and Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging Monica Monroe on the day of the attack. They noted that Nega had been “barred” from the school and Harvard University police “determined that there is no immediate threat to [the] community.”
“We condemn unconditionally all violence, hatred, and homophobia, and will continue to work to foster a campus in which members of our Law School and University community feel welcome, safe, and included,” Ball and Monroe wrote, adding that counseling and mental health resources had been provided for students.
Nega’s attorney, Alice Purple, did not immediately return The Daily Beast’s request for comment Friday.