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As the police investigation stretches on after a Latino man was assaulted in an apparent hate crime attack outside Davenport College early Saturday morning, the Yale and New Haven Police Departments have offered conflicting accounts of when they knew about the assault.

The New Haven Police Department took down two separate reports of the incident, and for much of the week operated off of a report that made it appear as though both NHPD and YPD were only made aware of the incident at least 18 hours after the potential hate crime. However, a police report obtained by the News shows that NHPD was on site and aware of the incident approximately 28 minutes after it occurred.

NHPD Police Chief Karl Jacobson has since acknowledged that his department made an error in its communication. YPD Chief Anthony Campbell claims that his force followed its communication protocol. 

The assault

At approximately 12:15 a.m. Saturday morning, the victim, a New Haven resident identified publicly as “Franklin,” was walking with his partner and two other friends when at least five 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. 

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. An EMT named Mark Chung ’25 was fetched by a friend and 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. 

As students came by to assist Franklin, Chung, an EMT who was in a nearby suite, arrived on the scene. He immediately began attending to Franklin’s injuries.

“He was definitely hurt,” Chung said. “He had blood running down, and it was pooling down [around his chest]. He had a couple of drinks, plus the adrenaline, so he wasn’t in that much pain. But I can definitely tell something was definitely very bad.”

According to two witnesses, on at least three separate occasions, white male Yale students walked past Franklin as he was receiving medical care and made disparaging comments towards him.

“Yale students, some of them I recognize, were saying things like, ‘Oh, you’re clearly not from here’, or ‘rough night ha,’” one of the students providing help to Franklin told the News. The student was granted anonymity due to safety concerns. “All really aggressive, incredibly insensitive comments, given all four of these people are clearly in distress. One of them was in clear medical distress.”

Witnesses called the police at least three times over the course of about 20 minutes after the assault took place. Officers arrived at the scene at roughly 12:40 a.m., and were told the victim’s name and which hospital he was taken to by witnesses.  

According to Jacobson, the officers later headed to Yale New Haven Hospital to interview the victim before filing a police report at 2:52 a.m.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Franklin was immediately put in a wheelchair and taken to a trauma room, leaving Gaebler alone with Chung and another Yale student.

“[Claudia] had calmed down by then, but it’s so scary,” Chung reflected. “Especially having Franklin go and her being left in the waiting room. Thankfully, you know, [another Yale student] was there to comfort her.”

YPD and NHPD Saturday investigation

The report notes that the two New Haven Police Department officers who responded to the scene reached out to YPD for potential footage of the assault. One of the two NHPD officers, who has been identified in the report as Officer James, contacted “Yale New Haven Police Dispatch” and asked for potential video surveillance. James was told that no such footage existed, per the report. 

The Yale New Haven Police Dispatch does not exist. According to Jacobson, the report was referring to the YPD dispatch. But Campbell said this may have been referring to the Yale New Haven Hospital Security Dispatch. At time of publication, Campbell said the YPD was confirming if there was any record of such a call to the YPD dispatch. 

NHPD Spokesperson Scott Shumway maintained that the report was referring to YPD dispatch.

On Saturday at 1:30 p.m, Chung was called by YPD Officer Mike Hall to provide an account of the prior night’s incident. Hall asked Chung to confirm the clothes that Franklin was wearing as well as the victim’s last name. Hall also confirmed that YPD had video evidence of the fight, Chung said.

“He was telling me a little bit about the video,” Chung said. “Apparently they got some video footage of the beginning of the fight but it ended up going off camera. He did not confirm to me whether or not he got any faces of the perpetrators.”

Campbell told the News that the YPD does in fact have full video footage of the assault and that all footage is in NHPD hands. The NHPD is now working off that footage to identify suspects and may release that footage to the public for identification assistance if they are unable to track down the suspects.

At 4 p.m, Franklin readmitted himself to the hospital, and reported the assault again, leading to the dispatch of another NHPD squad car. The two officers who were dispatched took down another report, this one a late report since it was taken down almost 18 hours after the assault had occurred. The second report was filed at 6:50 p.m. 

The police report that had been taken down at 2:52 a.m. Saturday morning called the incident a potential hate crime, but it had misspelled the victim’s last name, which led to confusion within the NHPD. When Franklin again reported the incident to NHPD, the department did not catch the repeat report due to the initial error in Franklin’s name. 

At 9:43 p.m. on Saturday, Gaebler texted Chung again, saying that she had spoken to NHPD on the phone, and that NHPD wanted to talk to Chung. According to Gaebler, NHPD had contacted YPD, which had said they were not aware of any video footage of the assault, contradicting what Chung said the YPD told him earlier that afternoon.

At 9:45 p.m Chung called NHPD and spoke with Officer Kelly, during which he described his conversation with the YPD, and confirmed that the YPD did indeed have video of the assault.

Why was there no timely warning from YPD? 

Jacobson told the News that New Haven police made Yale police aware of the assault by 2:52 a.m. Saturday. But YPD Chief Campbell said that he did not believe he had any record of that alert. 

If the YPD had been provided with a notification by that time Saturday, Campbell said he would have sent out a community-wide “Timely Warning.” Under the Clery Act, the YPD is required to send out alerts within two hours of reported criminal activity taking place near campus. 

According to the current timeline provided by YPD, the department was officially made aware of the incident by Saturday afternoon at 12:37 p.m., when Davenport College Dean Ryan Brasseaux contacted YPD after receiving an email from a student witness about the attack the night before. Campbell said that this email allowed YPD to begin an initial report.

“The only way we can all stay safe together is for us to communicate with one another,” Campbell told the News in an interview Thursday evening, saying that students should come directly to YPD with information about violent crimes. 

If students do not feel comfortable talking to police, Campbell said they can report crimes anonymously, through phone calls, calls to Yale Public Safety — non-sworn officers who are unarmed — or through resources like the LiveSafe App. 

“If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the police, which we understand because many people have been marginalized in our society and we understand that sometimes people don’t want to talk to us, use the resources that are there,” Campbell said. 

He said any students who witnessed the crime could have pressed the button on the blue phone just feet away from the incident. Such an action would have prompted an immediate YPD response, rather than a response twelve hours later. 

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. He instead sent out a YPD public safety alert Tuesday informing the community about the incident and ongoing investigation. 

However, the investigative report that the News obtained from NHPD casts doubt on this timeline. The 2:52 a.m. NHPD police report explicitly states that the two officers who responded to the assault called “Yale New Haven Police Dispatch” within hours of the incident asking for potential footage of the crime. YPD dispatch, which NHPD maintains it called, told NHPD that this footage did not exist. 

Jacobson has since issued a directive to NHPD officers requiring them to report any incident or assault that may have racial motivations to their Lieutenant as quickly as possible.

“We did make a mistake with communication, and I have already taken steps to prevent this sort of miscommunication in the future,” Jacobson told the News. “Reporting potential hate crimes to lieutenants means that the information will quickly pass up the chain of command and to me, ensuring swift action.”

The two current investigation’s file numbers are 22-029994 and 22-30080.

Nathaniel Rosenberg is an Audience Editor for the News and covers Cops and Courts for the City Desk. He previously wrote about housing and homelessness. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, he is a sophomore in Morse College.
Yash Roy covers City Hall and State Politics for the News. He is also a Production & Design editor, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion chair for the News. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, he is a sophomore in Timothy Dwight College majoring Global Affairs.
Sophie Sonnenfeld covers cops and courts. She is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Political Science and Anthropology.