LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A University of Louisiana Lafayette student who said she was physically attacked and robbed of her wallet and hijab made up the story, according to the Lafayette Police Department.
Public Information Officer Karl Ratcliff said police are currently reviewing the possibility of charging the 18-year-old student with filing a false police report.
The young woman filed a police report Tuesday claiming two white males approached her near the campus, in the 100 block of Smith Street, around 11 a.m.
The 18-year-old woman told investigators she was walking near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus Wednesday morning — hours after Donald Trump’s presidential victory — when she was accosted by two white men who drove up in a gray sedan, Lafayette police said in a statement.
The student said the men struck her with a metal object, knocking her down, and stole her wallet and the headscarf, known as a hijab. She also said the men shouted racial obscenities as they struck her several times in the back.
She also claimed one of the males was wearing a Donald Trump hat and they both yelled racial obscenities at her, police said.
As police began to investigate the student’s claims they did not locate any witnesses or surveillance video to corroborate her story.
The university’s police department issued a statement notifying staff and students about the student’s reported attack. In a separate statement that didn’t mention the incident, university president E. Joseph Savoie called for unity after a “long, contentious presidential campaign.”
“With the election behind us, we must now concentrate on trying to find common ground that will enable us to move forward – together – as a nation,” Savoie said.
Kareem Attia, a 23-year-old graduate student who is president of the university’s Muslim Student Association, said he didn’t want to jump to any conclusions about whether the election results inspired the alleged attack.
The story of her false attack went viral overnight, gaining the attention of national media outlets.