Crime

Penn State student attacked another based on his race. Now he’s serving time.

A former Penn State student is behind bars.

Nick Tavella, 20, of Greensberg was sentenced Friday for 15 days to 23 1/2 months for ethnic intimidation, which will run concurrent with the same sentence for terroristic threats. He was sentenced to 90 days of probation for public drunkenness, according to the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.

Tavella, who was enrolled at the university at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

Authorities say that on Dec. 5 he followed another student who was returning home from studying on campus. Tavella taunted the student, asking him if he was going to rape a girl.

“What are you, from the Middle East?” Tavella asked the student, according to court documents. He then grabbed the student by the throat and threatened to shoot him. Tavella admitted to police in December that the attack was racially motivated.

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