Authorities investigating attack of Ph.D. student near UW-Madison campus; MPD shares suspect photos

Authorities Investigating Attack Of Ph.d. Student Near Uw Madison Campus; Mpd Shares Suspect Photos

WISC-TV/Channel3000.com

MADISON, Wis. — Authorities with the Madison Police Department and UW-Madison are investigating an alleged attack of a fifth-year Ph.D. student just blocks off of the university’s campus.

MPD officials shared an incident report late Friday morning saying the victim was punched by a group of men who went on to kick and punch him while he was on the ground around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. The incident happened on Gilman Street near the intersection with University Avenue.

According to the report, the attack was the third of its kind to happen in the downtown area within the past week. Detectives said they believe the same group of people might be responsible for all three.

The victim reportedly told police the suspects didn’t take anything from him or say anything to him during the incident.

Police added that detectives don’t have any evidence as of Friday morning that leads them to believe the attack was racially motivated.

Reports of the Tuesday night attack, which have circulated widely on social media among Ph.D. students at the university, claim the student was attacked by five people.

Pictures of the victim’s wounds included in the posts appear to show multiple injuries to his head and face.

In a statement shared online Thursday, UW-Madison officials said they’re “deeply concerned by these reports,” adding that the university “is committed to making our campus and nearby downtown areas safe for all.”

The statement noted that university officials are aware of “recent acts of violence” against students in the campus area.

UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott said in an emailed statement to News 3 Now on Friday that the department is aware of the attacks, saying that the MPD is leading the investigation because the incident happened off-campus.

“At this point, we’re not aware of any incidents on campus that were racially motivated,” Lovicott added.

According to additional posts circulating on social media, a Stop Asian Hate rally is scheduled for Friday evening starting at 4 p.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Organizers said they plan to march from the Capitol to Library Mall.

Anyone with information about the three incidents is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or visit p3tips.com. Tips that lead to an arrest may qualify for a reward.

UW-Madison’s full statement is available below and online.

The university has been made aware of recent acts of violence and aggression against students that took place near the UW–Madison campus.

We are deeply concerned by these reports. UW–Madison is committed to making our campus and nearby downtown areas safe for all.

Initial reports came from members of our Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American communities, and we are aware that in recent years these communities have faced increased threats to their safety, well-being, and sense of belonging. We recognize the safety concerns and trauma these actions may cause, and will continue to work to create safe, equitable and inclusive working, living, and learning environments.

University Police and Madison Police are working together to gather more details and information. The reports to campus occurred amidst a number of other incidents of violence reported in recent days to Madison Police. Law enforcement will continue to investigate and take action where appropriate.

The Dean of Students Office is working with affected students to provide support.

For anyone who feels unsafe, contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department. To report an incident, call 911 or 608-264-COPS.

Counseling staff at University Health Services are also available to talk with students affected by recent events or other personal concerns. After-hours medical advice and mental health support are also available.