ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A white Cornell University student charged with beating a black student has apologized for the language he used during an attack that police say may have been racially motivated.

Nineteen-year-old John Greenwood issued a statement Thursday saying that last Friday in Ithaca he was involved in a "verbal exchange" that he regrets. Greenwood's statement said he used language "that was completely unacceptable and inappropriate" but didn't offer specifics on what he said.

Ithaca police charged Greenwood with assault after a black student said he was attacked by several people who hurled racial epithets during a fight last Friday morning outside the victim's residence near the Cornell campus.

Greenwood's lawyer, Ray Schlather (SCHLAW'-ter), said in a statement that his client "was in no way involved in any physical altercation of any kind."