A local professor in Illinois is facing a hate crime charge after being accused of spitting on a Black woman and hurling racial slurs at her and her seven-year-old daughter during an altercation earlier this month.
According to Chicago Tribune, the accused, identified as Alberto Friedmann, is a neurokinesiology teacher at the National University of Health Sciences. The accused academic also faces an additional aggravated assault charge in connection with the incident.
Prosecutors with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said the incident occurred while the Black woman and her young daughter were in a parked car outside a jewel store in Oak Park. The two were waiting for the woman’s mother who was in the store shopping, CBS Chicago reported.
And though the woman had not blocked traffic with her car, Friedmann allegedly pulled up behind her and started honking and shouting at her to move her car. Friedmann also allegedly launched into a racist verbal tirade and called the Black woman the N-word.
After the woman refused to move her car, Friedmann continued subjecting her and her daughter to racial slurs before he exited his vehicle to confront them. Prosecutors said Friedmann then went ahead to spit in the woman’s face after he prevented her from getting out of her car. The Black woman’s mother was out of the store at that time and she witnessed the confrontation.
The accused academic allegedly justified spitting on the woman by telling her he does not like Black people. Prosecutors also said Friedmann damaged the woman’s car and almost hit her after she tried blocking him from driving away before the police responded to the scene.
Friedmann was eventually arrested after officers arrived. He later admitted damaging the woman’s car and spitting in her face, CBS Chicago reported.
But during a hearing, Friedmann’s lawyer, John McNamara, denied his client hurled racial slurs at the Black woman. “My client vehemently denies using any racial language. It’s our position that it’s fabricated that he used any such language. He’s a minority himself. He’s a child of immigrants,” McNamara told the court, per Chicago Tribune. “This is completely outside of his nature.”
Friedmann was released on a $2,500 bail. He has, however, been ordered to refrain from getting in touch with the victim or any of the witnesses.