A professor is charged with a hate crime and charged with spitting at a black woman and throwing racial slurs at her and her 7-year-old daughter outside a suburban Chicago grocery store earlier this month, according to the court records.
In addition to the hate crime charge, Alberto Friedmann is also charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, according to Cook County court records.
The alleged incident on the afternoon of September 7 happened outside a Jewel-Osco store in Oak Park, a village about 10 miles from Chicago.
Friedmann, 53, teaches neurokinesiology at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. His lawyer, John McNamara, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On the day of the alleged attack, the woman and her daughter were parked outside the store waiting for the woman’s mother to finish shopping, court records show.
While in the car, the woman heard someone “honking and screaming” and saw a man, later identified as Friedmann, in a Jaguar behind her.
The woman heard the man yelling using a racial slur, “Move your f —— car,” court records said.
The woman motioned for the driver behind her to go around, according to the records. But the driver continued to shout racist slurs and got out of his car and approached the woman’s car, court documents show.
The woman tried to get out of her car, but the man closed the door and then spat in her face, court records show. The accused told the woman he spat on her “because he didn’t like black people,” according to court records.
The woman’s mother, who had walked out of the store, saw the man yelling racist slurs and saw him spit at her daughter, according to records.
The woman got out of her car to get the man’s license plate and yelled for someone to call the police, records show. She threw a water bottle on her car to try to prevent it from leaving before the police arrived.
The man accelerated his car towards the woman, “almost hitting her with his car”, according to court records. Prosecutors allege in the court document that the man “came within inches” of hitting the woman. The man struck the driver’s side rear bumper and the driver’s side door of the woman’s car, according to records.
According to records, police arrived shortly after and took the man into custody. An officer observed how his vehicle crashed into the woman’s driver’s side door, records show.
The man, according to court records, made “a confession for spitting” on the woman and hitting her car. Surveillance video from the store captured the incident, court records show.
Friedmann appeared in court on Sunday and was released on $ 2,500 bail, according to court records. McNamara said at the hearing that his client, a minority and a “child of immigrants,” denies using a racial language.
Officials at the National University of Health Sciences did not immediately respond to an email for comment on Tuesday. In a statement to NBC Chicago, the school said, “We take the allegations of misconduct seriously and have therefore suspended Alberto Friedmann pending the results of a university investigation.”
NBC Chicago also reported that Illinois State Representative La Shawn Ford said some of the teacher’s students contacted him about the incident.
“They sent letters to superiors. They are destroyed because they are taught by that person, and their question is what type of person it is, ”he said.