Alberto Friedmann, a professor at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, is charged with a hate crime after being accused of spitting on a Black woman and using racial slurs to insult the mother and her 7-year-old daughter outside of a grocery store, NBC News reports.
The alleged incident took place on Sept. 7 when the woman and her daughter were parked in the parking lot while waiting for their relative to finish shopping at the grocery store in Oak Park, a small town about 10 miles from Chicago.
According to court documents, the woman was in the car when she heard Friedmann “honking and yelling” and using a racial slur while telling her to “move your f**king car."
After the woman motioned for him to drive around her, he continued yelling racial slurs, court documents state. He then allegedly exited his vehicle and approached the woman’s car. The woman tried to exit her car, according to records, but the 53-year-old pushed the door closed and spat in her face.
The woman’s mother said while leaving the store, she saw the man yelling racial slurs and spitting on her daughter, court documents state. The 7-year-old's mother rushed to get the man’s license plate and yelled for someone to call the police, then threw a water bottle at his car before officers arrived, according to records.
Prosecutors said the man “came within inches” of striking the woman with his car when drove his car toward her. After he was placed in custody, the man made "admissions to spitting” on the woman and striking her car, court records state. He was also said to have told the woman he "doesn't like Black people."
The professor's attorney, John McNamara, said his client didn't use any racial language. McNamara also described the man as a a minority himself and a “child of immigrants.”
After appearing in court on Sunday, Friedmann was released on $2,500 bail. The National University of Health Sciences responded to the incident in a statement to NBC Chicago.
“We take allegations of misconduct seriously, and therefore have suspended Alberto Friedmann pending the results of a university investigation,” the school stated.
Students at the school have expressed their concerns to Illinois state Rep. La Shawn Ford.
“They sent letters to higher-ups. They are destroyed because they are taught by this person, and their question is what type of person this is,” Ford said.