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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.

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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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