University of Texas says ‘bleach bomb’ may have been filled with water

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The University of Texas at Austin has released a statement in regards to the the alleged “bleach bomb” attack that occurred earlier this week at one of the university’s off-campus housing complexes.

Third-year-student Bryan Davis told KXAN that he was crossing the street when a bleach-filled balloon was dropped from the balcony of an apartment above and splattered on his leg. Meanwhile, many speculate that it may have been a racially motivated attack.

Schools officials now say that investigation into the case indicates that the balloon may have been filled with water — but further forensic testing is currently being conducted on remnants from the balloon and Davis’ clothing to confirm the substance.

“Even though this event occurred off campus, such reports are distressing and disappointing,” wrote Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, the Vice President for Diversity and Community at the university.

“We take seriously the concern that this reported incident may have been racially motivated,” he said. “However, water balloon incidents are not uncommon near campus, especially during fall rush activities. University officials have been working with building managers in the area west of campus to create protocols to help prevent such activities in the future.”

However, the attack against Davis is similar to incidents that occurred just last year at the university where students of color were allegedly pelted with “bleach balloons.”

This soon led to a campus-wide protest which involved dozens of the school’s students and faculty.

In the statement released Wednesday, the school official says that an investigation launched last year in response to these earlier attacks found no evidence of bleach and that the students involved in the incident were identified and held accountable for their actions. 

Vincent says they are currently working with Austin police authorities to review the allegations made in Davis’ case. 

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