Police: Religion not a motive in attack on MSU student - Fox 2 News Headlines

Police: Religion not a motive in attack on MSU student

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Zach Tennen, 19, was seriously injured in an assault near Michigan State University's campus over the weekend. Zach Tennen, 19, was seriously injured in an assault near Michigan State University's campus over the weekend.
  • Police: Religion not a motive in attack on MSU studentMore>>

  • Michigan State sophomore's jaw broken during attack

    Michigan State sophomore's jaw broken during attack

    Tuesday, August 28 2012 11:27 PM EDT2012-08-29 03:27:55 GMT
    19-year-old Zach Tennen, a Michigan State student, suffered major injuries after getting into a fight at a party.  The victim's family is calling it a hate crime, but police aren't so sure.
    19-year-old Zach Tennen, a Michigan State student, suffered major injuries after getting into a fight at a party.  The victim's family is calling it a hate crime, but police aren't so sure.

By MyFox Detroit Staff

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (MyFox Detroit) - Police say a Michigan State University student's Jewish religion doesn't appear to have been a factor in his assault at an off-campus party.

East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy says there's no dispute that Zach Tennen was seriously assaulted early Sunday and suffered a broken jaw. But Murphy says witnesses haven't confirmed Tennen's account that he was slugged after revealing he's Jewish.

"This assault, as with any other assault, will be investigated fully to hold any and all suspects accountable," said Murphy. "This is a serious assault and ELPD is putting every resource available into the investigation."

Murphy said Wednesday that detectives also have no evidence that Tennen's mouth was stapled shut during the attack as he maintains. Tennen's father, Bruce Tennen, spoke with FOX 2 Tuesday saying the assailants were stapling his son's mouth. "He recalls waking up and seeing a stapler, that they were stapling his gums and trying to hurt him and that he felt he was going to die," said Tennen.

The 19-year-old from sophomore is recovering at home from jaw surgery. Bruce Tennen says the conclusions by East Lansing police "sicken us."

An 18-year-old man from Farmington Hills is a suspect, although no arrest has been made.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact ELPD at 1-877-ELPD-TIP.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

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