Suspected hate crime committed outside Davenport College, police investigate
Early Saturday Morning, a Latino man was assaulted in what the New Haven Police Department is investigating as a hate crime.
Courtesy of Davenport College
A Latino man is awaiting oral surgery after suffering two jaw fractures and a head injury from an attack that police are now investigating as a hate crime. The incident occurred just steps from Davenport College this weekend.
At approximately 12:19 a.m. Saturday morning, the man, a New Haven resident identified publicly as “Franklin,” was walking with his partner and two other friends when at least two white men hurled anti-Black and anti-Latino racial slurs at him on York Street in front of Warby Parker and Grey Matter Books. The assailants then physically assaulted and beat Franklin until he fell into the street. A New Haven Police officer took down the report of the incident at 6:52 p.m. on Saturday, September 3.
According to Claudia Gaebler, the victim’s partner, a group of Yale students saw Franklin on the ground after the attack and came by to help. One of the students, an EMT, helped wrap Franklin’s head and assisted him in getting to Yale New Haven Hospital. Gaebler wrote in a GoFundMe for Franklin’s medical bills that he had fractures on both sides of his face and needed staples on two parts of his scalp.
“NHPD has determined this incident to be a possible hate crime and our special victim’s hate and bias unit is responsible for investigating the crime,” said Karl Jacobson, New Haven Chief of Police. “We are putting all our resources to bear to ensure that the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice.”
Although this incident took place near Yale’s campus, because it occurred on New Haven streets, NHPD holds jurisdiction.
The New Haven Police Department is leading the investigation. Both NHPD and Yale Police Department police chiefs were made aware of the incident and its likely racial motivation on Monday morning. Representatives from the two forces spoke and agreed to cooperate on the investigation. Still, NHPD has the mandate to investigate hate crimes and arrest any individuals suspected or accused.
Perpetrators can potentially be charged with breach of peace, assault and battery in the second or the third degree and any relevant “bias-related charges” depending on their specific actions, according to Yale Police Chief Anthony Campbell.
“We are confident that it was a hate crime and will prosecute it to the full extent of the law,” he said. “We are bringing all resources to bear; we will not rest until we bring every party in this situation to justice.”
Despite three witness accounts mentioning responding officers from NHPD or Yale security arriving on scene, no official report was filed until Saturday evening. Only the victim can file an official report, both police department chiefs said.
Simon, a Yale student whose last name is being omitted for safety concerns, said that at approximately 1 a.m., two NHPD officers were speaking with witnesses at the scene of the attack.
According to Jacobson, NHPD procedure requires that officers identify and locate the victim and go to that location to investigate. It is currently unclear if this procedure was followed, and Jacobson could not immediately confirm.
Because the victim was already at the hospital, there was no complainant present on York street when police responded so no official report could have been filed according to Jacobson.
As of 10 p.m. Monday, Jacobson said that no bodycam footage has been identified corroborating the events, but that he has directed a NHPD official to closely monitor and catalog all body camera footage from early Saturday morning.
The Yale Police Department was first made aware of NHPD’s Saturday night report on Monday morning. Campbell said that it was due to this delay in reporting that YPD was unable to send out a “timely warning” alert to the Yale community.
To account for what Campbell referred to as potential “flaws” in communication about case reports between the two departments, YPD officers scan all NHPD reports from the previous day in case any are related to Yale. YPD is required under the Clery Act to send out timely warning reports within two hours of an incident. Instead, Campbell said he would update the community with a more detailed public safety announcement later this week.
Franklin is currently seeking medical help out of the state.
The current investigation’s file number is 22-30080.
This is a developing story and will be updated.