Three San José State University students have been charged with racially bullying their black roommate. According to CNN, the three students are being charged with committing a hate crime after clamping a bicycle lock around their roommate’s neck and decorating their four-bedroom suite with a Confederate flag, Nazi symbols, photos of Adolf Hitler and a white board with a racial epithet.
The report continued on to say that the three students, Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield; Joseph Bomgardner, 19, of Clovis; and Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre, are all being charged with misdemeanor hate crime and battery. According to ABC News, the three have not yet entered a plea.
The school announced late Friday that a fourth unnamed student was also suspended from the school in connection with the incidents. “[The victim] really wanted to just get along. I think he hoped this would go away, and I think another big part of it was he was physically scared of them,” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Erin West told ABC News. She continued on to say,
“There were mean tricks played on him — barricading him in his bedroom and putting their hands on him to put this bike lock around his neck,” West said. “It seems clear the motivation for that battery was motivated by hate.”
Many find it hard to believe that students today would stoop so low as to treat a fellow student in this way. District Attorney Jeffrey F. Rosen told CNN, “I can’t believe in the year 2013 that we’re talking about an African-American student being treated this way. We’re taking this case very seriously.” CNN reported San José State’s president, Mohammad Qayoumi, saying the following in a letter to the student body Thursday:
“Let me be clear: I am outraged and saddened by these allegations. They are utterly inconsistent with our long cherished history of tolerance, respect for diversity and personal civility.”
All those suspected to have taken part in the alleged hate crime have been suspended and removed from their suite at this time.
[Image by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons]