Delaware police investigate alleged hate crime

Delaware police investigate alleged hate crime

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Newark police this week are investigating a suspected hate crime against a gay man while he was leaving a fraternity party near the University of Delaware.

Rancel Valdez, 23, of Dover, Del., was assaulted by multiple people attending an off-campus party hosted by Phi Gamma Delta on North Chapel Street in Newark. 

Valdez sustained a fractured leg and other injuries during the April 13 incident. He was hospitalized for two days and will be unable to return to work for about a month, according to published reports.

A video of the alleged assault was posted online, showing multiple people punching Valdez as he is laying on the ground. A woman can be seen trying to stop others from punching or kicking Valdez.

An anti-LGBT slur was hurled at Valdez during the incident, police said.

“The Newark police are actively investigating this assault and the elements of it, which may lead to a charge of a hate crime in addition to the assault,” poilce said in a statement.

University of Delaware president Dennis Assanis said any students who participated in the assault will be “held accountable for their actions.”

“The offensive language reportedly used in the incident stands in stark contrast to UD’s core values of diversity and inclusion,” said Assanis in a statement. “Our community is better than this, and I encourage you to join me in our ongoing commitment to cultivate a culture of inclusion and respect at the University of Delaware.

”Newark police confirmed the incident will also be reviewed by the Delaware Department of Justice. A department spokesperson declined to comment about specific details of the incident, noting the matter is “an active investigation.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Newark Police Officer A. Maiura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 302-366-7100 ext. 3495.

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