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Student Charged With Felony Ethnic Intimidation

Penn State student Nicholas Tavella is facing a litany of charges following an incident of alleged racial discrimination Saturday morning.

Tavella followed another student home “because of his skin color” and eventually grabbed him by the throat and said “don’t make me put a bullet in your chest,” according to police documents.  The student was walking from Park Hill Apartments towards Nittany Apartments. The two met in the street and Tavella asked if the student was “going to rape a girl.” The story was first reported by The Daily Collegian.

He appeared intoxicated when police arrived at the scene at the intersection of Bigler and Hastings Road. According to the police report, Tavella admitted to racially profiling the student, who is of Indian decent. He admitted to police that he followed the student because he appeared to be of Middle-Eastern or Asian descent and he “had been acting suspicious.”

Later Tavella admitted to police he “probably grabbed him” and “probably said something racist” but he didn’t remember everything because he was drinking before the incident.

Tavella is facing charges for ethnic intimidation, a felony, and misdemeanors for making terroristic threats, simple assault, disorderly conduct, stalking and harassment, among others according to the University Police Crime Log. Following his arraignment, he was released on $10,000 bail.

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