An Illinois professor is facing hate crime charges for yelling racial slurs and spitting in the face of a woman because he “does not like black people,” prosecutors said.
Alberto Friedmann, whose LinkedIn profile identifies him as a professor at the National University of Health Sciences, was charged Sunday with aggravated assault and a hate crime in the alleged Sept. 7 incident outside an Oak Park grocery store, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said Freidmann, 53, of Oak Park, started yelling and honking in his Jaguar stopped behind the woman, who was parked outside a Jewel-Osco with her 7-year-old daughter.
He then got out of his car while allegedly hurling racial slurs and slammed the woman’s car door shut and spit in her face — saying he did so “because he does not like black people,” according to Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsay Ruedig.
The woman’s mother came out of the grocery store and heard the slurs. She also saw Friedmann allegedly spit at her daughter, authorities said. The woman hopped out of her car to get the man’s license plate, prompting him to allegedly accelerate toward her, but she wasn’t struck, Ruedig said.
But Friedmann’s Jaguar hit the woman’s car twice, prosecutors said. Witnesses intervened in the confrontation when he got out of his car a second time and he was later arrested, the Tribune reported.
Store surveillance video captured the incident, but prosecutors didn’t specify Sunday what could be seen or heard on the footage.
An attorney for Friedmann denied that he used any racial slurs during the encounter.
“It’s our position that it’s fabricated that he used any such language,” attorney John McNamara told a judge. “He’s a minority himself. He’s a child of immigrants. This is completely outside of his nature.”
McNamara said Friedmann has a doctorate in kinesiology, exercise science and neurology and currently teaches neurokinesiology at the National University of Health Sciences.
Friedmann’s name, however, was not listed among its faculty members on the university’s website. in A message seeking comment from the school in Lombard was not immediately returned early Tuesday.
Friedmann’s LinkedIn profile identifies him as a professor at the National University of Health Sciences. He previously served as a faculty member at Indiana State University, the profile shows.
A judge ordered Friedman be released on $2,500 bail while barring him from contacting the woman or witnesses. She also said she “couldn’t ignore” that the alleged incident took place in front of the woman’s young child, the Tribune reported.
Friedmann is reportedly due back in court on Wednesday.