Weeks later, sophomore’s investigation continues


A week after journalism sophomore Zachary Tennen returned to campus, his mouth still is wired shut — the only physical trace left of his unresolved assault case that made national headlines less than half a month ago.

The East Lansing Police Department, or ELPD, still is awaiting Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III’s review of the incident investigation after it was forwarded to his office last Thursday, Capt. Jeff Murphy of the ELPD said in an email.

Capt. Bill Mitchell of the ELPD said no charges have been issued yet, but police previously identified a suspect.

Despite police involvement in the case being on hold, Zachary Tennen is continuing to move forward after the assault.

Tennen returned to his residence hall Sunday, Sept. 2. In a phone interview Monday evening, he said it has been nice to be back on campus enjoying everyday life — hanging out with his friends, going to class and watching sports.

He watched the Spartans win the football game against Central Michigan University on television with his friends last weekend, he said.

Except for his jaw, the wounds on his body have healed.

“It’s just hard for me to talk and eat, but there really isn’t any recovery,” Tennen said, his voice muffled from the injury.

Tennen said when he is on campus, most people don’t recognize him or know he was assaulted. He said he thinks people depend on what they hear, and he hopes people support him when they hear what he has to say.

In past interviews, Tennen said he was the victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 26 at a party on the 500 block of Spartan Avenue.

He previously said people at the party watched as he was assaulted by two men at the party who made Nazi and Hitler gestures at him, knocked him out and broke his jaw in two places.

But there has been some discrepancy surrounding the motivation of the assault as police officials have said the assault likely was not a hate crime.

The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office will determine charges related to the assault.

Although Tennen has not been completely focused on the investigation of his assault, he said he does hope the assailants involved in the incident are punished.

Tennen said he hopes the offenders suffer “the worst possible consequences.”

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