A 19-year-old Maryland student faces trial in Prince George's County District Court next Tuesday on charges of assault and carrying a deadly weapon on school property as the result of an anti-Semitic incident in which a coed whose mother is a Holocaust survivor was shot with a BB gun.
Roger L. Frisbee, a sophomore from Rockville, was arrested by campus police last month after he allegedly approached a Jewish student in his dormitory, said, "Heil, Hitler," and fired a BB gun five times, striking her in the leg. She was slightly injured.
The incident received attention shortly afterward when an anonymously written and published underground mimeographed newsletter -- riddled throughout its two pages with obscenities and racial and ethnic slurs -- named Frisbee "man of the month" for his "anti-Semitic Hitlerism." The newsletter was condemned by the campus newspaper.
Rabbi Robert Saks of the campus B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation said the BB shooting and the newsletter are "unpleasant incidents" that occur occasionally and do not indicate an anti-Semitic atmosphere at the univesity. "This is not at all a hotbed of Nazism," Saks said. "The campus is very hospitable to Jews."
University of Maryland Chancellor Robert Gluckstern issued a statement this week warning that acts of racial, political and religious violence will not be tolerated on the campus and that individuals committing such acts are subject to "swift campus action."
The statement reads, in part: "The University of Maryland advocates a policy of toleration to individuals regardless of their racial and ethnic backgrounds or of their religious and political beliefs. Persons engaging in criminal acts of destruction or violence against the person or property of others are subject to swift campus action . . . This campus joins the governor's office and other state offices and agencies and a broad representation of community leaders in denouncing such acts."
The university administration was encouraged to speak out by Gov. Harry Hughes' Task Force on Violence and Extremism, whose chairman met Monday with Gluckstern.