IOWA CITY, Iowa — The student who was attacked on the University of Iowa campus says he has no plans to leave the school.
"I was honestly confused and just - I just feared for my life at that point. I was just trying to make sure I didn't get hurt anymore bad than I did," said victim Marcus Owen.
Owen says that he stepped out to make a phone call Saturday night in the 200 block of Iowa Avenue in Iowa City when a white man in his early 30s started attacking him, then two more men joined in, ganging up on him and yelling racial slurs.
"They were using the 'N' word... over and over as they were beating me on the floor and kicking me, hitting me, viciously," said Owen.
He says he has never experienced racism as a student at the University of Iowa before the attack, and the university isn't taking the incident lightly.
"I am deeply concerned and saddened by the report that this was a hate crime. It demonstrates that we have, as does the rest of society, a great deal of work left to do," said Tom Rocklin with the school.
Owen and his family want to see the three attackers brought to justice.
"Pretty clear in terms that this was a racially motivated hate crime. There is no other way for me to look at it or anyone to look at it. I mean, by the very definition and the act in and of itself. Marcus is just a happy kid; happy go lucky kid. I would challenge anyone to find someone who's interacted with him and doesn't like him," said Darrell Owen, Marcus' uncle.
Police did not have any updates in the case yet. The family was scheduled to meet with investigators today.