Duke Administrator Hit Parking Attendant With Car

March 1, 2016

A parking attendant is alleging that Tallman Trask, Duke University’s executive vice president, hit her with his car and used a racial slur before a 2014 football game.

Shelvia Underwood, the parking attendant, said that she stopped Trask’s car as she was speaking with a pedestrian, The Duke Chronicle reported. As she turned to him, Trask hit her with his car and she was knocked to the ground. After Trask showed his parking pass and was allowed through, Underwood alleges that he used a racial slur.

Trask said in a statement that he did not intentionally hit Underwood. He said he thought she was allowing him to enter, but when he started moving, she stepped back in front of the car and “her hand ended up on my left fender.” Underwood filed a complaint several days after the incident, Trask said, which was investigated by the Duke police and the Office of Institutional Equity.

Trask denies using the racial slur, and he says that he wrote Underwood an apology note because he had lost his patience.

“I had assumed this was resolved more than a year ago until I received a letter last November from a Raleigh attorney threatening to sue me (not clear for what) unless I paid her an unspecified sum,” Trask said in a statement. “I declined to do so then and do not intend to do so now.”

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