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Campus Police Mace Chinese Exchange Student at Ohio State University Library

COLUMBUS (Rob Wells/Kate Liebers) -- Language barriers were blamed after police officers maced an Ohio State University exchange student attempting to use the library.

The Dec. 15 incident began when library staff noticed 23-year-old Yuxiang Chen nodding off. He had been studying at the 18th Avenue library until around 3 a.m.

He was apparently asked to leave and invited to return later. When he did, he was confronted by police.

"He was told he was trespassing and things escalated very quickly from there," defense attorney Alex Hastie said. "Very unfortunate."

Investigators said Chen was asked to show his student ID when he came back but he refused. After exchanging words with security, the senior math major allegedly attempted to bite the staff members.

"I think that the language barrier is one of the main barriers, but they slammed him to the ground and he's then pepper sprayed twice in the face," Hastie said.

Medics evaluated Chen before officers put him behind bars. The student was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

OSU police declined to talk about the case on camera, but said they followed correct protocol in controlling a tough case.

"We would simply like the case to be dismissed and he be allowed to continue with his studies," Hastie said. "He wants to continue in grad school. He loves the United States and wants to stay here."

The Chinese consulate in San Francisco was notified following the exchange student's arrest.

Chen posted bail and returned to class. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
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