College Parent Arrested After Confrontation at Syracuse Campus Protest

Ronn Torossian, a New York City public relations executive and an associate of Mayor Eric Adams, was arrested last weekend at a pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus of Syracuse University, where he and other parents were protesting what he described as the school’s inaction toward student safety issues, including violence and antisemitism.

Mr. Torossian, who is Jewish and the parent of a Syracuse student, confronted a student protester who had a sign that said, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.” University officials described him as “especially aggressive” toward students. When Mr. Torossian refused to leave, campus security arrested him.

“Harassing behavior or conduct from anyone that creates a safety concern will not be tolerated,” the university said in a statement about the episode.

The arrest followed an off-campus incident the day before involving a pro-Palestinian protester who the school says was not a Syracuse University student. The protester said “Heil Hitler” as he made a Nazi salute at a Jewish student and then punched the student in the face, according to a police report and an email from university officials.

The assault on the Jewish student and Mr. Torossian’s arrest reflect the increasingly murky situations around the country that university administrators, students and parents are trying to navigate as lingering protests draw students and non-students alike, at locations both on and nearby campus.

Mr. Torossian, who helped organize fund-raising events for Mr. Adams’s election campaign, said he and other Jewish parents have been exasperated that the university chancellor has declined to meet with a group of concerned Jewish parents since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

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