Middlebury College student charged with assault, hate crime

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 10:53 AM EDT
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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - A Middlebury College student who claimed he was assaulted by a group of Black males on campus now faces charges that he started the fight.

It happened last Saturday evening. Middlebury Police say Matthew Shanklin, 22, told officers that while walking through campus he had been “jumped” by a group of 6 to 10 Black students and suffered injuries to his leg.

After further investigation, police say they concluded Shanklin had been the aggressor. They say Shanklin asked the group of students for the key to a dorm on campus -- which the group didn’t have -- and that he made racial comments toward the students and assaulted one in the group

“This has got to be chilling for students of color at the campus. We’ve been working with the college and the college has done a lot of internal work on this to try to provide some reassurance. This is rare for this to be reported to us since we only deal with things that are reported to us. This was an anomaly,” said Middlebury Police Chief Thomas Hanley. He adds that there was alcohol involved.

Shanklin faces charges including simple assault, hate-motivated crime, and giving false information to police. He’s due in court on June 20th.

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