#FeelTheStrangle: Bernie Sanders Supporter Expelled For Choking Muslim Woman, Yelling ‘White Power’
The Indiana University Bloomington student charged with shouting hateful slurs at a Muslim woman, trying to strangle her and then biting a police officer on Saturday has been expelled from the school.
Officials at Indiana expelled the student, Triceten Bickford, earlier this week, reports Fort Wayne NBC affiliate WISE-TV.
The bizarre incident occurred on a patio outside a Turkish restaurant and bakery in Bloomington, a few blocks from the IU campus.
Bickford, 19, began the altercation by yelling “‘white power, white power,’ very loud,” the victim, an unidentified 47-year-old Turkish woman, told Indianapolis NBC outlet WTHR.
Then, the victim explained, Bickford grabbed her neck, pushed it down and squeezed. He pulled her scarf off her head, she said.
The woman, an 18-year resident of the United States, was with hre husband and their 9-year-old daughter at the time of the incident.
The husband and a passing stranger eventually pulled Bickford off the woman.
After allegedly spitting at people and trying to bite the cop who arrested him, Bickford tried to kick out a squad car window.
A screengrab of Bickford’s deleted Facebook page captured by the New York Daily News shows that he is a passionate supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
An image of Sanders had been emblazoned across the very top of Bickford’s now-expunged Facebook page.
“ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES,” a corresponding caption to the left of the socialist candidate urged. “IT’S TIME FOR OUR REVOLUTION.”
The tiny headshot of Bickford’s face in the bottom left of this main image was covered with transparent, red, white and blue filter and the slogan “Bernie 2014.”
A 2013 Facebook post by Bickford concerning Panda Express, the fast-food Asian restaurant, featured the word “nigger,” the Daily News notes. His Facebook account is also tagged in posts making fun of black people.
In a campus interview with a WTHR reporter prior to his expulsion, Bickford said he has no recollection of the incident. He said he had failed to take his anti-anxiety medication. Also, he had been drinking very heavily. (A blood-alcohol test showed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.19.)
“I’m so sorry. That woman — I have no idea who she is but I can’t — words can’t explain how much that, like, just like, I’ve never hurt someone like that before,” Bickford told WTHR, fighting back tears. (RELATED: Indiana Student Strangled Muslim Woman, Yelled ‘White Power,’ Bit Cop At Bakery, Police Say)
The psychology major from Fort Wayne insisted that he is “not a hateful person.”
“I love people,” he explained. “I don’t know where that came from.”
Bickford’s expulsion was a “direct result of what happened over the weekend,” an Indiana media flack told WISE-TV.
Bickford faces half a dozen criminal charges including strangulation. There’s also battery on a police officer.
Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a civil rights investigation.