An Illinois professor was charged on Sunday, September 19 with aggravated assault and hate crime after allegedly uttered racist insults at a black woman and her 7-year-old daughter outside a Chicago grocery store earlier this month.
Alberto Friedmann, a 53-year-old professor at the National University of Health Sciences, confronted the woman and her daughter on September 7, prosecutors from the Cook County State Attorney’s Office said, according to to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The woman and her daughter were sitting in their car near the Jewel-Osco grocery store in Oak Park, along the driveway between the parking aisles, waiting for the woman’s mother to finish shopping.
Friedmann reportedly honked the vehicle from inside his own car behind them, then got out and approached the woman’s vehicle after she waved him around.
Prosecutors say Friedmann shouted insults at the woman and her child as he approached the car. When the woman tried to open the door, Friedmann reportedly closed it, then spat in her face and said he didn’t like black people. The woman’s mother came out of the store and witnessed Friedmann’s use of slurs.
The woman got out of her car and attempted to throw a water bottle at Friedmann’s vehicle to prevent her from leaving, but Friedmann reportedly accelerated towards her, nearly hitting her, before hitting her car twice, causing severe injuries. damage. She looked for a license plate on Friedmann’s car but did not see one.
Witnesses intervened and police showed up and arrested Friedmann, who admitted to spat on the woman and hit her car. Friedmann was released from court after posting bail. He is not allowed to contact the woman or witnesses to the incident.
John McNamara, an attorney for Friedmann, said the professor did not use racist slurs during the meeting.
“It is our position that it is fabricated that he used such language,” McNamara told a judge. “He himself is a minority. He is a child of immigrants. It is completely outside of its nature.
A spokesperson for the National University of Health Sciences Recount The New York Post said Friedmann’s job was suspended pending criminal investigation.