Hate crimes charges after students fasten bike lock around black roommate’s neck and call him ‘Three-fifths’

By David Edwards
Thursday, November 21, 2013 13:14 EDT
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Isaac Thornton (KGO)
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Three students at San Jose State University have been charged with misdemeanor hate crimes and battery after being accused of tormenting a black roommate.

University police announced on Wednesday that arrest warrants were being issued for 18-year-old freshmen students Colin Warren, Joseph Bomgardner and Logan Beaschler. According to police, the three students hazed a fellow student while they were all living in an eight-person suite between Aug. 20 and Oct. 13.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that the victim’s parents first suspected that something was wrong with the living situation in mid-October when they noticed a Confederate flag covering a cardboard cutout of Elvis in the dorm room. They also reported to campus police that they had seen the N-word scrawled on a dry-erase board.

Police reports indicated that the students gave their 17-year-old victim the nicknames of “Three-fifth” and “Fraction,” referring to the way the original U.S. Constitution treated slaves as part of a person.

At one point, the victim allegedly had a “U” shaped bike lock placed around his neck and was not set free for as long as 10 minutes. A struggle occurred after the suspects tried to place the victim in the bike lock again and bruised his lip.

Investigators found anti-Semitic items in the dorm room, including a photo of Adolf Hitler and a swastika. There was a pentagram on one wall that was used to offend the victim because he was a Christian, police said.

“He was targeted because he was different, because he was black,” Deputy District Attorney Erin West said on Wednesday.

Watch this video from KGO, broadcast Nov. 12, 2013.


David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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