A 56-year-old woman has been detained after an 18-year-old Indiana University student was repeatedly stabbed in the head on a public bus in an attack the school says occurred because the victim is Asian.
The victim told investigators she was standing and waiting for the exit doors to open on a Bloomington Transit bus Wednesday afternoon when another female passenger began hitting her in the head, Bloomington police said in a statement.
Surveillance footage from the bus did not show any interaction between the two women before the attack.
A witness who was also riding the bus followed the woman’s attacker and contacted police, who later apprehended Billie R. Davis of Bloomington. Davis has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery, according to court records.
The victim was treated at a hospital for multiple stab wounds. Her name has not been released.
Court documents show Davis said the victim was targeted because of her race, according to WNDU-TV.
citing court recordsWRTV-TV reports that Davis told police that he stabbed the woman multiple times in the head with a folding knife, because “it would be one less person to blow up our country.”
The records did not list an attorney representing Davis.
“This week, Bloomington has been sadly reminded that anti-Asian hate is real and can have painful consequences for individuals and our community,” James Wimbush, Indiana University vice president of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, said in a statement. “No one should experience harassment or violence because of their origin, ethnicity or heritage. On the contrary, the Bloomington and IU communities are stronger because of the great diversity of identities and perspectives that make up our campus and community culture.”
Bloomington is in southern Indiana. Mayor John Hamilton called behavior like the bus attack “unacceptable” and said it “will be dealt with accordingly.”
“We know that when a racially motivated incident like this resonates throughout the community, it can leave us feeling less safe,” Hamilton said in a statement Saturday. “We stand with the Asian community and everyone who feels threatened by this event.”
In recent yearsAsian Americans have been increasingly subjected to racially motivated harassment and assault, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.