university of illinois professor injured in hate crime knife attack

Last week in Champaign, Illinois, a man was arrested on attempted murder charges after slashing the throat of a South Asian university professor in a vicious hate crime attack at a train station: One Injured, One Arrested After Knife Attack At Train Station.

Police arrested 23-year-old Joshua Scaggs in the attack on University of Illinois College of Law professor Anurudha Udeni Dhammika Dharmapala. According to a witness, both were waiting at the station when Scaggs shouted that this was "his country" and attacked him with a box cutter:
Champaign police were called to the second floor of the transportation terminal at 45 E. University Avenue at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday. They found two men in the waiting area for the trains, one of whom was sitting in a chair bleeding heavily and the other lying face down on the floor with a utility knife laying nearby.

A male witness told police the men were both seated in the waiting area when one man suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country and attacked Dharmapala.

The attacker, later identified as Scaggs, then grabbed Dharmapala around the neck and appeared to be choking him. He then forced the victim to the floor.

The witness intervened by pulling the attacker off Dharmapala. The witness then noticed that the attacker was holding a utility knife and the victim was bleeding.

Ziegler said Dharmapala was waiting to take a train to Chicago. He had no information on why Scaggs may have been there. Police recovered the box cutter believed used to injure Dharmapala. He said Scaggs had another folding knife in his pocket.
Scaggs was arraigned on Thursday. Although Scagges was arrested and charged with attempted murder and a hate crime, the prosecutor didn't file the hate crime offense because the other charges apparently carry heavier penalties. More here: Bond at $500,000 in attack on UI professor.

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