Last week in Nashville, Indiana, a man was arrested after attacking a Chinese high school student with a hatchet, injuring her in the back. The man later told police that he was trying to "perpetrate ethnic cleansing."
Police: Indiana man attacks exchange student with hatchet in apparent attempt at 'ethnic cleansing'
On Thursday afternoon, 18-year-old Yue Zhang was taking photos with her class downtown when a man approached her, said, "I'm going to kill you," and struck her twice in the back with a hatchet.
The teen, an exchange student from China, suffered a substantial two-inch laceration in her back. Thankfully, the injury wasn't life-threatening, but doctors estimate the hatchet came just an inch from the victim's spine. Her thick coat apparently prevented the injury from being fatal.
59-year-old Dana Ericson was arrested on several charges, including attempted murder, aggravated battery causing serious permanent disfigurement and battery by means of a deadly weapon.
Brown County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Mike Moore say the attack "came out of the blue."
Ericson has a long history of psychological issues telling police he intended to kill the teen in an act of "ethnic cleansing. He told police he was a white supremacist and that he set out to kill Zhang.
Police say that the two did not know each other and there was no connection between Ericson and the teen's host family.
Ericson told police he was walking when he saw the teen taking pictures. He then yelled at her, ran across the street hitting her with a small Gerber hatchet with a blade about 4 inches wide and 6 inches long.
Police says Ericson hit the teen twice, a thick jacket the teen was wearing helped protect her from the attack.
The teen fell to the ground and Ericson ran from the scene. A female witness followed him , while others attended to to the teen and called police.
Officers found Ericson quickly and he was arrested.
According to court documents, Ericson told police he intended to kill the girl in an attempt to "perpetrate ethnic cleansing." When questioned by investigators, Ericson claimed he is a white supremacist and said targeted the teen because she is Asian, and that he hates "these people."
Ericson reportedly has an extensive criminal record and history of psychological issues. According to residents, Ericson takes medication and he didn't take his pills on the day of stabbing.
Appearing in court on Friday, Ericson shouted, "I don't believe in your law. Your laws are a bunch of crap."
The judge approved a request to hold Ericson for 72 hours while the case is reviewed. Ercison was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric competency evaluation.
More here: Exchange Student Attacked With Hatchet Released From Hospital, Assailant Appears In Court