The woman, whose 9-year-old daughter was with her at the time, told investigators that Bickford “began squeezing her neck and forcing her head down toward the table,” according to the release.
“While doing this with his right hand, he was using his left hand to attempt to remove the scarf from her head,” the release stated. “This caused the scarf to restrict her breathing due to the pressure on her throat.”
The release noted that the woman “may have been Muslim,” but it’s unclear whether that’s why she was targeted. The suspect made racially charged comments during the incident, but also chose not to speak with officers, Bloomington Police Capt. Joe Qualters said in an e-mail.
The child wasn’t hurt, and the woman didn’t need medical attention, police said. Bickford was restrained by the woman’s husband, who was in the cafe, and a passer-by. While they held him, Bickford threatened and spit at the two men, police say.
“He also bit an officer on the calf at the jail as he was being removed from the police car in the booking area,” the news release stated.
Bickford is a sophomore at Indiana University in Bloomington, university spokesman Mark Land told The Post in an e-mail.
“This incident took place off-campus and is being investigated by local police, although the university is obviously aware and following the investigation,” Land wrote.
It was not immediately clear whether Bickford already has an attorney. He did not return an e-mail Monday.