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Police seek information about alleged assault of Muslim community member on Franklin Street


A Chapel Hill Police Department car is parked on Franklin Street on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. 

Last updated Nov. 2 at 3:41 p.m.

The Chapel Hill Police Department is investigating an alleged assault of a Muslim community member that a post on social media claims occurred on Franklin Street on Tuesday evening. 

Posts on Instagram shared by community members described the alleged attacker as an individual who was "wearing an Israeli flag." 

The police department said it is "working to identify and connect with the victim" to provide support and investigate the situation further.

“The circumstances that were described in the post must not be tolerated in our community,” police chief Celisa Lehew said in a statement. “It is important that anyone who has information reach out to us as soon as possible. We recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community and will continue to work carefully to ensure an environment where everyone feels safe and respected.”

After the alleged attack, UNC students posted warnings on social media, telling hijabis and other Muslim students to stay away from Franklin Street. 

"Please stay away from the area, especially if you’re hijabi, and be careful," the UNC Muslim Students Association said in a Tuesday post on Instagram.

UNC MSA sent an email Tuesday to registered members regarding the situation that said the alleged victim is a UNC student and is "safe at this time."

In a Wednesday campus-wide email, the University said UNC Police is working with the Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Police Department to gather more information about the situation. 

"The safety of our community is our number one priority. If anyone in our community is attacked or harassed, we urge them to call 911," the email said.

In a Thursday Instagram post, UNC MSA said the alleged victim is in communication with CHPD and does not plan to "participate in any media interviews at this time."

"We spoke to someone who anonymously identified as a victim and, while respecting their anonymity, we are still working to determine what happened," CHPD Public Information Officer Alex Carrasquillo said. 

The Daily Tar Heel acquired a document filed by CHPD compiling information from calls it has received providing information about the incident. 

The document lists the incident location to be 318 W. Franklin St., the address of Tea Hill. Police say the address was the closest physical location investigators could identify based on the information they have. 

CHPD confirmed that no official report of the incident has been filed with the department as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Chapel Hill Police Department filed this document to compile information about an alleged assault of a Muslim individual on Franklin Street. Police are still investigating the situation.

Community members who have information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates. Please email tips to

@emmymrtin | @dailytarheel

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Emmy Martin

Emmy Martin is the 2023-24 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as the DTH's city & state editor and summer managing editor. Emmy is a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and information science.