A University of Michigan student says a stranger came up from behind her and cut her left cheek Tuesday afternoon.
Police say it happened on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor when the man and cut her with a safety pin similar to the one she wore on her shirt. They also have been worn in the US to protest Donald Trump's election.
The suspect police are looking for in this incident is a 45-year-old white man but investigators only have a vague description.
"We see people wearing them all the time, but you never really think something like that it's going to happen," said Mia Jenkins who works in the area.
The student wore headphones and couldn't hear what the man may have said, but feels the safety pin normally used in the UK to protest Brexit and show unity for minorities who feel threatened to leave the union, played a role.
"The victim in this case feels that may have been the motivator behind the attack," said Lt. Matthew Lige, Ann Arbor police.
Investigators say there are not many details in this case, but given recent incidents involving racial intimidation in this area, police patrols have increased.
"The officers are aware of these incidents," Lige said. "They are mindful of their surroundings and mindful of the community with the heightened awareness."
FOX 2 spoke with a number of businesses on Liberty and no one saw the incident, but say having several cases over the past few days including one where a Muslim student was intimidated to remove her hijab has caused tension on campus.
Anyone with information should give police a call at 734-794-6927.