A man identified as a National University of Health Sciences professor faces hate crime charges and aggravated assault after he was accused of slinging slurs and spitting on a Black 7-year-old girl and her mother. The professor, Alberto Friedmann, 53, is also accused of ramming his Jaguar into the vehicle the girl was sitting in with said mother.
The alleged incident took place outside of a store in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. The woman was parked outside of the store with her daughter and that’s when Friedmann began allegedly honking at them from behind. He’s also accused of exiting his car, walking up to the woman’s vehicle, making racial comments, and spitting at them. The mother attempted to exit her vehicle and started to open her door, but Friedmann is also accused of slamming her door shut prior to the alleged spitting.
Assistant State Attorney Lindsay Ruedig suggested Friedmann spit at the mother and daughter “because he does not like black people,” according to Chicago Tribune.
The mother reportedly tried to exit her vehicle again, in hopes to get the man’s license plate number but was unsuccessful. That’s when the story takes another drastic turn and prosecutors state that Friedmann rammed his Jaguar into the woman’s car two times. The prosecutors also suggest that Friedmann went to exit his vehicle again, which was behind the mother and daughter’s vehicle, and that’s when a witness got involved to calm the storm.
It was shortly after this that police arrived and arrested Friedmann.
NY Post reports that the store, a Jewel-Osco, has video footage of the incident, but prosecutors did not reveal what exactly is seen or heard on the footage.
Friedmann’s attorney John McNamara said his client did not use any racially charged language and that it’s “outside of his nature.” McNamara suggested that the prosecution/victim had fabricated the use of racial language and claims that Friedmann is a minority son of immigrants and that the alleged language is none that he would use.
After Friedmann’s arrest over the incident that took place on September 7, he was released on bail ($2,500) and prohibited from communicating with the victim or any witnesses. Friedmann denies much of the altercation, despite facing charges of aggravated assault and hate crimes and the possibility of the altercation being on video.
The judge set bail because the alleged incident took place in front of a child.
McNamara reportedly said his client teaches at the National University of Health Sciences as a professor of neuro-kinesiology, but the college did not confirm employment, according to the Tribune.
It was further reported that Friedmann has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and early Parkinson’s disease. His wife requires 24-hour care due to a debilitating condition.
Ehlers-Danlos, also referred to as EDS, is a rare condition described as a syndrome that “affects connective tissue, primarily the skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. Symptoms include overly flexible joints that can dislocate, and skin that’s translucent, elastic, and bruises easily. In some cases, there may be dilation and even rupture of major blood vessels.”
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