Police: Iowa student lied about being victim of hate crime

Marcus Owens

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police say a black University of Iowa student lied about being the victim of a racially motivated beating and that he instigated at least one of several alcohol-fueled fights.

Marcus Owens told police that he was attacked April 30 by three white men who hurled racial slurs as they damaged his eye socket and knocked out his front teeth. The alleged hate crime stoked safety concerns and distrust among some minority students in the university.

But police said Tuesday that his report was false. Investigators obtained surveillance video showing Owens had been a participant and instigator of fights that started inside a bar and continued outside.

Owens will not be charged, and police won’t seek restitution to cover the cost of the investigation. He and his family issued an apology.

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