Man charged with hate crime for spitting in woman’s face on UW-Madison campus

Morgan R Kroll
Courtesy of the Dane County Jail

MADISON, Wis. — UW-Madison police arrested a man Monday after a university student said the stranger spat in her face and made statements about COVID-19.

The incident happened on West Dayton Street near Ogg Hall the evening of Sept. 15.

Authorities said the victim, an Asian American woman, told investigators she felt targeted because of her race and appearance.

According to a criminal complaint, the suspect crossed the street and approached the victim directly before spitting on her. The victim told investigators the man’s speech was unintelligible and he was mumbling, but she was confident he said something about COVID.

For the Record: Standing up against Asian American hate

UWPD officers were able to identify 37-year-old Morgan R. Kroll as the suspect thanks to surveillance footage. During his arrest, Kroll reportedly admitted to spitting on the victim’s face but denied saying anything about COVID. He said he did it because he was upset he had been stolen from.

Kroll has no affiliation with the university.

According to online court records, Kroll is facing a disorderly conduct charge with a hate crime modifier. He’s also facing two bail jumping charges.

Kroll was banned from the UW-Madison campus as part of his bail conditions.

Marc Lovicott, UWPD’s public information officer, said the victim was offered support and resources from the Dean of Students Office after the incident.

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