STANFORD, Calif. - A Stanford student from Syria who is hospitalized after a hit-and-run crash alleges the driver struck him intentionally and made a racist remark as he did it.
Friends identify the victim as grad student Abdulwahab Omira, a Syrian refugee.
The university confirmed the driver was seen speeding up before running into Omira, making eye contact with him, and shouting threatening words at him and his people.
One of his friends is Yousef Abuhashem who arrived from Gaza two years ago to study at Stanford.
"I just came from the hospital," Abuhashem told KTVU. "This morning he started losing sensation in his left leg. The doctors still don’t know why, but it’s really scary and it’s mentally and psychologically way more traumatizing."
Omira wrote from his hospital bed that he was hit by someone screaming "F--- you and your people" who has "previously shown animosity towards my community."
The victim describes the suspect as a white man in his mid-20s with short-blond hair, a beard, and glasses.
The suspect was driving a black Toyota 4-runner SUV.
Omira said it took six hours for the university to send out an alert to students.
Tensions are high at Stanford where student protests over the Israel-Hamas conflict are taking place.
"I think it was delayed by probably too long," Aidan Delgass said.
Delgass took part in a sit-in on campus where students have been camped out for two weeks in defense of the Palestinian people.
He fears for the safety of his Arab and Muslim classmates.
"There are verbal assaults and people having their bags run over by bicycles," Delgass said.
Tia Geri is part of a large display in defense of Israel, calling on Hamas to release the hostages, with one heart-shaped balloon for each of them.
She condemns the hit-and-run.
"We were horrified that happened. Violence has no place at Stanford," Geri said.
Abuhashem took his security concerns to the provost two weeks ago.
"Are you waiting for someone to be hit or be killed to say something? She didn’t respond, and yesterday someone was hit in a murder attempt," Abuhashem said.
A spokesperson for Stanford tells KTVU that the university sent out their alert as soon as there was enough information from California Highway Patrol which is handling the investigation.
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact CHP.