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FBI Investigating Attack Against Foreign Exchange Student
Updated February 26, 2016 7:30 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(NASHVILLE) - The FBI is opening a civil rights investigation into the attack against a foreign exchange student Nashville on February 18.

Police arrested 59-year-old Dana Ericson on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery.

A spokesperson for the FBI Indianapolis Division says they will determine if Ericson committed a hate crime and if so the case will be forwarded to the Department of Justice. Indiana is one of only five states in the country without a hate crimes law.

Ericson pleaded not guilty to the crime to striking 18-year-old Yue Zhang not once by twice in the back with a hatchet.

Ericson told police he was trying to bring about an "ethnic cleansing" and hated Asians and intended to kill the teen.

Zhang was struck while taking photos for a high school class near Trolly's BBQ in downtown Nashville.

Police say Ericson ran across Van Buren Street near the courthouse and hit her in the back two times with a hatchet.
Zhang's thick coat prevented her injury from being fatal.

Zhang was treated at a Columbus hospital for a deep, 2-inch deep laceration that measured about an inch wide near her spine and was released.

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