19-Year-Old Jewish Student in Detroit Beaten to a Pulp, Mouth Stapled


zachary-tennen-detroitA 19-year-old Jewish Michigan State University student is recovering at home in Oakland County today after surgery overnight for a broken jaw his family says stems from a brutal hate crime.

Two men at a party early Sunday asked Zachary Tennen, a journalism sophomore at MSU, if he was Jewish, his mother, Tina Tennen, said today.

They raised their arms in a Nazi salute, chanting “Heil Hitler” and then knocked Tennen unconscious.

Tennen says while he son was out, the men stapled his mouth, putting a staple into his gum while about 20 people watched.

In a statement released late this afternoon, however, East Lansing police say it likely was not a hate crime but did not explain why. Investigators say they have located two witnesses and possibly a suspect.

Despite that, Zachary Tennen’s mother is still upset. “It’s an awful hate crime, and what he’s gone through emotionally and physically, it’s scary to put it into words,” Tennen said at about 6:30 a.m. today, pausing from getting her son medicine as he recuperates at their home in Franklin. “Hopefully the worst is behind us. It’s going to be hopefully not too rough.”

Her son says no one at the party helped him as he was attacked then thrown out of the gathering. He took a cab to Sparrow Hospital in East Lansing for initial treatment, but underwent surgery in metro Detroit overnight to have his jaw wired shut, his mother said.

“I hope that they get prosecuted, go to jail,” Tina Tennen said. “You hear about it in the news, but I guess it’s something that you think never will happen to you.”

She said Zachary hopes to return to take classes at MSU in about a week, surviving on a liquid diet.

“The school’s been involved; we’ve been in touch with them,” Tina Tennen said today. “They’ve outreached to us. But we’re still trying to find them (the attackers). The job isn’t done.”

Source: WZZM 13

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Just read where the Lansing, Mi. police said it’s not a hate crime. Michigan has become a dangerous place for Jews of late. People need to become aware of how anti-semitism is growing by leaps and bounds, even in the U.S. This is so obviously a ‘hate’ crime. The perpetrators asked him if he’s Jewish and that’s when they knocked him out. What else but anti-semitism does that sound like. #5 & #6 commenters are right!

  2. num. 6 who calls it a golden medina it hides the fact that we are in galus stories like this just make us aware if we know and realize we dont belong here we would possibly daven for mashiach but since we “live in a goldene medina we are safe from harm” this is not a pogrom but it is still an anti semetic act

  3. What part of Heil Hitler would NOT indicate a hate crime? In any case I hope the Jewish student has a refuah shelaymah and that the thugs get thrown in jail for a good long time!

  4. How come we haven’t heard this story on the national news. This is a major hate crime and pure antisemitic terror. This should be on every news station in America.

  5. Refuah shleima!

    A few thoughts:
    – On what planet is this not a hate crime?!?
    – Just outside of Detroit (10 miles from the frum community, over an hour from Lansing) is a large Moslem community. Not sure what mention of this has to do with this incident besides being ad hominem.

  6. Its not a hate crime because “heil hitler” has been redefined to mean “glad to see you today” by the nice people who support the idea that there can be freedom for the thug in America.

  7. I find this story very disturbing.

    Hashem Yirachem on this yiddisher bochur. Please Hashem send him a refuah speedily; and please protect him further.

  8. I agree that this is probably a hate crime and it is a terrible thing. That said, we don’t know who did it. Connecting this to the Muslim community before you know anything is simply accusing another group of something. What’s the difference between saying “this could have been the Muslims” and “this could have been the Jews”?