Police Report Reveals Details of Alleged Attack on MSU Jewish Student

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

No hate crime, no charges, and case closed as of Thursday for 19-year-old MSU student Zachary Tennen, who claimed he was assaulted at an off-campus party last month because he was Jewish, but that doesn't mean he can have a clean conscience.

"I talked with everyone, including a representative of the family, and it just seems to me the best way to proceed, or rather, the just way to proceed is not to proceed," Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings said.

Dunnings said everyone is in agreement there was no hate crime committed against Tennen. He said the decision not to charge anyone was easy, due in part to the thorough investigation by the East Lansing Police Department.

"They interviewed over 50 people," Dunnings said. "This wasn't one of those situations where I've got five people saying one thing and five people saying not."

The police report is more than 50 pages long filled with statements from people who went to the August 25 party on Spartan Ave.. Almost all of them say they never heard anything about Nazis or the KKK, as Tennen claimed.

East Lansing Police Captain Jeff Murphy said there was one key witness statement that explains why all of this really happened: a female party-goer's description of Tennen's behavior that night.

"She wanted to get the whole story out once she heard something was going on," Murphy said.

She stated that Tennen was groping her and making many other inappropriate unwanted advances the whole night, and her male friend finally did something about it.

"Our person that we were originally looking at as a suspect [for the assault] has claimed he was defending the women Mr. Tennen was being inappropriate with," Murphy said.

According to the report, Tennen was punched once. It broke his jaw, but his mouth was never stapled.

The female key witness hasn't filed charges.

The Tennen family's attorney said in a letter they believe justice is best served by closing the investigation at this time.


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