A man walked into a coffee shop, asked people their political affiliation, and attacked, a witness said.
The attacker allegedly told a man who said he was a Republican, “You are safe." The coffee shop then cleared out, the witness said to the Herald-Leader.
"A former student of Transylvania entered our coffee shop here on campus and began attacking students on campus" said Michele Sparks, vice president for marketing and communications at Transylvania University, to VOA Student Union. "One was taken to the hospital and released the next day, the other one was released on the scene."
The man was subdued by the school's police chief, Gregg Muravchick, who was in the neighboring building when employees of the coffee shop sounded a panic alarm. He was quickly joined by Transylvania University President Seamus Carey, who was just getting out of his car at the time of the attack, Sparks told VOA Student Union.
In the campus newspaper and on a Buzzfeed
blog post, a user named MAdkins19 said he'd suffered harassment and discrimination because he was a Republican.
“I was at lunch when someone told me [Governor Matthew] Bevin was elected, and my cheer of pride was met with looks of disgust and hatred,” he wrote. “People left the table, saying thing along the lines of I was responsible for ruining this state and country, that my political opinion was wrong just because it was different. I have never been afraid to share my opinion, but being in this college has made me reluctant due to the backlash which I know is inevitable.”
He later updated his post.
The suspect, Mitchell W. Adkins, withdrew from Transylvania University, university spokeswoman Michele Gaither Sparks said Friday.
"Transylvania is such a tight-knit community where the outpouring of support from other communities [for] us has been overwhelming, its been amazing," Sparks told VOA Student Union. "We owe so much to these people who just stood up for our students, its humbling and amazing."