ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — A University of Central Florida student was arrested after he allegedly made threats to shoot three Jewish students during a school event last week.
According to documents, Palestinian-American student Seif Asi, 21, approached a table of Jewish students and got into a one to two-minute “heated conversation” during a UCF Office of Student Involvement approved pro-Israel free expression event on Jan. 23.
The University of Central Florida Police Department said once Asi walked away, one of the students ran to a marked patrol car and was “visibly scared.” The student told UCFPD that Asi had threatened to shoot them with a gun.
When UCFPD stopped Asi, he told them that he was Palestinian and had family in Palestine, adding that he was tired of seeing Jewish supporters on campus and complained about a pro-Israel match that occurred last week.
The arrest report shows that Asi told police he saw the same group of students at the march, and it made him upset when he saw them setting up their table on Tuesday. He also told police that he’s “tired of seeing students on campus defend the killing of Palestinian people.”
The 21-year-old said he was on his way back from working out when his “emotions got the better of him.” Police said he apologized for his behavior and asked if he could apologize to the students, acknowledging that he shouldn’t have made the threat.
According to documents, Asi denied owning a firearm, and no weapon was found on his person.
The three victims, who are part of a group called “Students Supporting Israel” or SSI, provided sworn verbal and written statements consistent with each other. The students said Asi accused them of supporting the death of his family members back home. Then, all three students allegedly heard Asi say, “You won’t be here anymore when I come back and shoot you.”
Asi was arrested and charged with three counts of intimidation and credible threat to a person wearing a religious item, according to officials.
Following Asi’s arrest, UCF released a statement saying that while Asi apologized, he would still have to answer for violating university policy and state and federal laws.
“While the student acknowledged his emotions got the better of him and apologized for his words, he will still have to answer for the violations of university policy and state and federal laws,” the statement read in part.