A few days ago, I read in the Daily Princetonian that a group of students associated with the conservative Anscombe Society and a faculty member were sent threatening emails. A subsequent story reported that one of the threatened students was viciously attacked:
Details of the incident have not been confirmed by Princeton Township Police or the University Medical Center at Princeton, but Nava said in an interview Friday evening that he was walking from a borrowed car to the house of a boy he is mentoring when he was stopped by a man dressed in black and wearing a ski cap. According to Nava, the man said that someone was hurt and asked for his help. A second assailant, who was waiting around the corner, grabbed Nava from behind. Together, the two men checked him against a wall and repeatedly hit his head against the bricks.
According to the story here, however, the whole thing was faked by the alleged victim, including the initial threatening emails. And, it seems, the student might have done something like this before while a high school student at Groton. However you slice it, something very, very unfortunate has happened.
UPDATE: A commenter asks why I’ve posted about this:
Short answer: Information distribution.
Longer answer: As the alleged threatening events were happening, a number of bloggers complained that the university would have handled this differently if it consisted of offensive speech directed at liberal students rather than conservatives. In fact, part of the reason the university’s reaction may have seemed muted was that it was still confirming the truth of the underlying events. So, this is likely a case where (1) perceived academic bias wasn’t and (2) university crisis management seems to have done a good job in a post-Duke Lacrosse world.