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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

MPD labels Ivory Tower assault a hate crime

A senior was charged in D.C. Superior Court with assault with significant bodily injury Monday, after the student allegedly beat up another student in Ivory Tower, according to police and court documents.

Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested senior Ross Richardson early Sunday morning in Ivory Tower, after he kicked and punched a fellow senior while saying “you fucking fag,” according to court documents.

The victim was transported to GW Hospital with significant head trauma, including bleeding in his brain.

The incident is classified as a hate crime, or a crime directed at an individual based upon prejudice or bias, according to the documents. The victim – whose name is being withheld due to a Hatchet policy of not naming assault victims – said he never met Richardson prior to the assault.

“I’m extremely surprised that at such a progressive school such a hate crime would happen,” he told The Hatchet. “I’m even more surprised that it would happen to a straight, white male.”

The victim said he has few memories of what occurred between the hour prior to the assault and when he woke up in the emergency room, as he suffered a severe head injury and spent early Sunday and Monday afternoon at the hospital.

University Police Department officer Matthew Knight found the victim sitting on the ground with two witnesses when he arrived on scene shortly before midnight, according to the documents.

One witness saw Richardson kick the victim in the stomach several times while the victim was on the ground, according to the documents. Another witness saw Richardson push the victim against a wall while punching him and calling him “fag” and “motherfucker” multiple times.

The victim fell to the ground and Richardson punched him and walked away, but returned and kicked him again, according to the documents.

Knight gathered a suspect description based on witness reports, and a UPD officer later identified Richardson, who matched the description – a medium-build, white male at 5 feet, 8 to 10 inches, wearing a black blazer, gray shirt and blue jeans – in front of Ivory.

Witnesses confirmed Richardson was the suspect who assaulted the victim and he was arrested for felony assault and transported to the MPD station for processing.

Richardson declined to comment.

The victim said he does not know if Richardson had been drinking prior to the incident, but if he had not, “it doesn’t paint a very good picture of humanity.” The victim said he will be able to return to classes Thursday, three days after his release.

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