FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- 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. Kyle Quinn said he is now fearful for his family's safety and decided to leave home, our sister station KFSM reported.
"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 actual man in the photo was identified as Andrew Dodson, according to CBS News. Dodson expressed guilt over the aggressive messages sent to Quinn.