The Collegian
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Charges dismissed against former student involved in reportedly racist altercation against delivery driver

A University of Richmond Police Department car in the parking lot of the Special Programs building.
A University of Richmond Police Department car in the parking lot of the Special Programs building.

A judge dismissed a charge of underage possession of alcohol during a hearing on Nov. 15 against former student Alexander Unruh in connection with a Sept. 3 reportedly racist altercation including Unruh and a delivery driver.

Unruh’s attorney, Brian Tacey – who graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2008 – filed a motion to dismiss the charges at the hearing in the Richmond City General District Court. Tacey and Unruh did not respond to The Collegian’s request for comment.

The altercation involved Unruh and other students who reportedly used racist language toward a delivery driver in the parking lot between Pitt Field and Westhampton Lake, according to the University of Richmond Police Department’s crime log. A video obtained by The Collegian also depicts Unruh fighting with the driver and repeatedly kicking his car before the driver pulled a gun.

Officer David Selander arrested and charged Unruh with a liquor law violation at 1:58 a.m. on Sept. 3, according to court records. URPD officers also issued two conduct referrals in relation to a simple assault with racial bias and “destruction/damage/vandalism” of property at the same time on Sept. 3, according to the crime log.

URPD has completed its criminal investigation into Unruh and the referral for simple assault was cleared because of factors beyond law enforcement’s control, Cynthia Price, associate vice president of media public relations, wrote in an email to The Collegian. The Deans’ offices handle conduct referrals and use relevant information URPD provides about the incident. However, federal privacy laws limit what can be shared about conduct proceedings, Price wrote. 

Unruh was a first-year student at UR when the incident occurred, but is no longer enrolled at UR, Marija Vjestica, student services coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar, said. Vjestica was not able to confirm when or how Unruh left UR, she said.

Contact news writer Katie Castellani at katie.castellani@richmond.edu.

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