The Ithaca Police Department has named the 19-year-old white student arrested Friday after an altercation that had racial undertones. IPD says John Greenwood of Ithaca, was charged with assault in the third degree, and further charges are pending.
According to a message to students, staff, and faculty over the weekend from Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, “a verbal exchange between Cornell students including the use of racial slurs led to a physical assault and the arrest of one undergraduate student” early Friday morning.
“Witnesses describe the student who was arrested for physical assault as having used racial slurs,” said Lombardi, who added that students involved appeared to be connected with a “currently unaffiliated fraternity.”
On Monday, Cornell president Martha Pollack said, “Based on what we know, and pending final investigation, Cornell will not consider Psi Upsilon’s reinstatement as an affiliated fraternity.” Cornell revoked its recognition of Psi Upsilon “for a period of no less than three years” in May of 2016, though following an appeal process at the time, Lombardi reduced the term to “no less than 1.5 years.”
However, members of Cornell’s suspended Psi Upsilon chapter told the Cornell Daily Sun, before Greenwood was identified, that the individual arrested Friday “is not and has never been” a member of their fraternity.
Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick and IPD acting police chief Pete Tyler have not responded to requests for comment about the incident.
IPD asks that anyone who has information that might aid their investigation contact them through police dispatch at 607-272-3245, the administration line at 607-272-9973, the Crimestoppers Tipline at 607-697-0333, or the anonymous online tip form.