An Illinois professor has been suspended from his job and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly spat on and racially attacked a Black female driver in a suburban Chicago grocery store parking lot earlier this month.
Antonio Planas of NBC News has reported that Alberto Friedmann, a professor of neuro-kinesiology at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, not only attacked and hurled racial slurs at the Black woman but also her 7-year-old daughter.
Alberto Friedmann, a White, 53-year old professor of neurokinesiology at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Ill., was charged with aggravated assault and a hate crime. https://t.co/4BsQELs4ZR #WhatYouNeedToKnow pic.twitter.com/AEG8lAiVKX
— Sybil Wilkes (@SybilWilkes) September 21, 2021
Cook county police records show Friedmann has also been charged with felony aggravated assault with a motor vehicle following the incident, which took place on the afternoon of Sept. 7 outside a Jewel-Osco store in Oak Park, Illinois — a small town about 10 miles from Chicago.
“On the day of the alleged attack, the woman and her daughter were parked in front of the store while they waited for the woman’s mother to finish shopping,” Planas reported. “While in the car, the woman heard someone ‘honking and yelling’ and saw a man, later identified as Friedmann, in a Jaguar behind her.”
The court records state that the woman heard the man yell out a racial slur while screaming, “move your f—— car.”
“The woman motioned for the driver behind her to drive around,” Planas said. “[Instead,] the driver continued yelling racial slurs and exited his car and approached the woman’s car.”
When the woman tried to get out of her car, Friedmann allegedly pushed the door closed and spat in her face.
Court records state that Friedmann “told the woman he spat on her ‘because he doesn’t like Black people.’”
After the incident occurred, the woman exited her car, got the man’s license plate number, and yelled for people nearby to call the police. Her mother, who was exiting the store, witnessed what happened next as Friedmann “accelerated his car toward the woman, ‘nearly striking her with his car,’ per court records.”
While Friedmann is said to have come within inches of hitting the woman with his car, he did strike her vehicle, damaging the rear driver’s side bumper and the driver’s-side door.
“[Court] records said police arrived shortly after and placed the man in custody,” Planas reported. “An officer observed how [Friedmann’s] vehicle crashed into the woman’s driver’s-side door.”
Friedmann later admitted his involvement in the incident to police, and the entire encounter was captured on the grocery store’s surveillance video. After appearing in court on Sunday, Sept. 21, the professor was released on $2,500 bail. A full court date for the incident has not been set yet.
In a statement, the National University of Health Sciences, where Friedmann is employed, said, “We take allegations of misconduct seriously, and therefore have suspended Alberto Friedmann pending the results of a university investigation.”