FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- An assistant professor at the University of Arkansas was mistaken for a man wearing an Arkansas engineering shirt at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. Kyle Quinn said he is now fearful for his family's safety and has decided to leave home.
"My guess is someone is going through the directory looking for guys with a beard," Quinn said. "I don't know."
Quinn was in Bentonville with friends on Friday night (Aug. 11), and not in Charlottesville like many people on social media thought. He said he had no idea what was going on a few states away, but quickly learned the next morning when he woke up to emails from the university.
"I got a hold of them and they kind of primed me and said your weekend is about to be ruined," he said.
Quinn received many emails and tweets from strangers. He said many of the messages he received were too vulgar to repeat.
"Everyone can see what's been posted on social media," he said. "I mean some of it has certainly been taken down, but not all of it."
Quinn said the hateful speech didn't stop with just vulgar messages.
"They posted online my home address and we didn't feel safe being in our home at that point," he said. "So, we stayed with a friend on Saturday night because of that."
The university sent a release saying they verified that the man in the photo was not Quinn. All he asks now is for people to double check what they are sharing online.
"Reply to these things with official statements and information rather than just blindly retweeting or replying to something," he said.
The person who made the Facebook post suggesting that Quinn was the man in the photo has taken the post down, and apologized for the mistake. Quinn said the man in the photo does not represent the ideals of the engineering department or the university.
The man in the photo has been identified as Andrew McCall Dodson. He was enrolled in the graduate engineering program at the University of Arkansas from fall 2010 through fall 2013, but did not receive a degree.
The university issued the following statement:
“As we have said all along, the individual in question does not represent the values of the College of Engineering or the University of Arkansas. This new information clears the name of our professor who was originally misidentified. The University will continue to support and promote a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus and society.”