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UAlbany President Defends Initial Statement In Bus Attack Case

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Three University at Albany students who claimed to be victims of a hate crime on a CDTA bus in late January are facing assault charges authorities determined they attacked another passenger. Meanwhile, the university's president is standing behind his initial statement on the incident.

Speaking Friday afternoon, University President Robert Jones said he would not apologize for his original January 30th statement that the students were attacked. Days later Jones asked the public to reserve judgment until an investigation was completed.

"We were operating on the information that we had. Someone had reported that they had been injured. There was evidence that they had gone to the hospital to be checked out. And so we responded out of compassion for what was in the police report. And it was the only other information out there, and I think to have responded in any other way that would have caused question regarding whether or not we believed them or not – it's not for me to decide whether their statements were true. We took them as they were stated in the police report and responded accordingly."

The three students will be charged Monday morning.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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