WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts State Police are helping Westfield State University officials investigate after a student reported being assaulted by three men on campus.
According to a statement sent to 22News by Westfield State University, the student, described as a minority woman, reported being verbally and physically assaulted Tuesday near Bates Hall and Wilson Hall.
The victim reported being approached by the three men from behind as she walked between the two academic buildings. According to the statement, one of the men shoulder-checked her, knocking her backpack to the ground, at which point another man kicked it, and another made threatening racial comments to her.
University President Ramon S. Torrecilha has called the assault a “cowardly, hateful deed on a campus that has re-doubled its commitment to diversity, empathy, tolerance and inclusion.”
According to the statement, if any students are found responsible for the assault, they will be expelled from the university.
A viewer and parent of a student at Westfield State University sent 22News a screenshot of an email she received from the school regarding the incident, which described the suspects as college-aged men wearing three black hoodies and blue jeans. One of the suspects, according to the email, had dirty blonde hair.
The assault is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police, and the campus’ Bias Incident Response Team and Department of Public Safety.