UNC-CH: Assault report was false

Staff WriterApril 13, 2011 

— A day after UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp labeled a reported assault on a freshman a hate crime, the university announced Tuesday that there had been no attack.

"The Department of Public Safety has determined that the alleged aggravated assault reported to campus last night did not occur," Thorp wrote in a statement released Tuesday evening. "That report, filed with campus police on April 5, was false. The university will not report it as a hate crime."

Now, the university will likely file charges against the student, Quinn Matney, according to university spokesman Mike McFarland.

Matney told police an unidentified, college-age man approached him along the foot bridge near Craige Residence Hall at 3 a.m. April 4 and pressed a hot piece of metal into his wrist.

Matney said the attacker called him an anti-gay slur, a claim that led the university to label the incident a hate crime and report plans to notify the FBI. Matney was besieged with media requests and told his story numerous times.

"It is important to recognize that incidents of harassment do occur," Thorp continued in his statement Tuesday . "When they do, we take them seriously."

Efforts to reach Matney were unsuccessful.

Earlier Tuesday UNC-CH Police Chief Jeff McCracken said the investigation had found no suspects and had just Matney's word to go on.

His father, David Matney, a lawyer in Asheville, told The News & Observer that his son suffered tendon and ligament damage. Quinn Matney was resilient enough, however, that after the attack he went to class to turn in a paper before heading to the emergency room, his father said.

Efforts to reach David Matney and DeLuca on Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.

eric.ferreri@newsobserver.com or 919-932-2008

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