Authorities in Austin are investigating claims that black, Hispanic and Asian students at the University of Texas have been attacked with balloons full of bleach — but many at the school are insisting that it’s not a hate crime.
“A bleach-bomb fell and hit me, my roommate; well almost hit us. It barely missed us,” student Jaysen Runnels told KVUE. “It’s very frustrating to know that it’s 2012 and that stuff like this still happens.”
Several students, however, told the station that the attacks had nothing to do with race.
“I see it from my balcony,” student Pete Desai explained. “I think it is just who ever happens to walk by at the time.”
Sophie Weiner recalled that she had seen the attacks happen “for the past three years, all the time.”
Austin Police Department Officer Steve McCormick said that the allegations were being investigated, but hate crimes were difficult to prove, according to KVUE.
“It can be difficult to prove because it is motivation,” Steve McCormick pointed out. “Motivation can be very subjective.”
A “bleach bomb” attack is considered an assault, regardless of whether a hate crime can be proven, police said.
Watch this video from KVUE, broadcast Oct. 4, 2012.