San Jose State University Suspends Students Charged With Hate Crimes

San Jose State University suspended three white students Thursday after the District Attorney’s Office charged them with hate crimes. The three young men allegedly fastened a bike lock around their African-American roommate’s neck—twice—while also racially bullying him and locking him in his bedroom.

Hundreds of students held a “Black Thursday” rally on campus to express outrage at the allegations and solidarity for the 18-year-old victim.

Authorities say the defendants hung a Confederate flag in the dorm suite and nicknamed the victim “Three-Fifths” in reference to the “Three-Fifths Compromise” in the U.S. Constitution. Later, they just called him “Fraction.” Twice, prosecutors say, the three men clamped a bike lock around the then 17-year-old victim’s neck and claimed to have lost the key. They also posted Nazi symbols, photos of Adolf Hitler and scrawled the N-word on a whiteboard in a shared room.

The harassment continued for months, up through October, police say. One roommate wasn’t removed from the victim’s dorm until today, the school said.

The DA’s Office filed misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges against Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield; Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre; and Joseph Bomgardner, 19, of Clovis.

No arraignment date has been set. If convicted, the defendants could spend up to a year in county jail.

“We are all victimized when a criminal act targets someone because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability,” said prosecutor Erin West.

The Mercury News spoke with the victim, who said he would lock himself up at night, fearful of his roommates. University police say the defendants brushed off the harassment as pranks. Two or more campus staffers knew about the Confederate flag on the bedroom window, according to the Merc. They asked the defendants to take it down so it wasn’t visible to the public, but didn’t follow up to see if they did or not, the newspaper said, citing police reports and campus memos.

The school asked the DA to treat the case as a hate crime.

SJSU student Champagne Ellison wondered how campus officials missed the racist decorations in the dorm room, according to the Spartan Daily.

“Where were you when that swastika was on the wall?” she asked at the rally organized by the Black Student Union.

Students are now asking for the school to examine policies to make housing more diverse and to create a support center for black students. 

SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi said the school is already reviewing its internal policies.

“Let me be clear: I am outraged and saddened by these allegations,” Qayoumi said in a statement Thursday.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Maybe the DA can charge these guys with engaging in slavery, or operating as a terrorist group, or whatever it takes to make the rest of us feel good about ourselves? Then we can get back to enjoying life as unbiased, open-minded liberals, living in an area as racially segregated by real estate prices as could ever be achieved by Jim Crow laws.

    Tonight, while dining in Los Gatos, Saratoga, or at Santana Row—hopefully safe from gang-bangers and iPhone-snatchers, my friends and I will no doubt discuss this horrible crime committed against everything we believe in.

    What I won’t be discussing is that I advised my college sons not to associate with minorities of any kind. It’s not that I’m a racist, it’s just I’m a realist. I realize that college age boys are serially idiotic; that they magic mark the faces of their passed-out friends, prank their roommates, utter and put to paper absolute foolishness, drink to enhance their stupidity, treat nudity as a party favor, and compete to see who could say the most hurtful things about each other. They are a hate crime just waiting to happen in a society ever ready to exaggerate the crime and fill-in the hate.

    No, in this age of victimization, protected groups, racial agendas, and white guilt, my boys and their college age stupidity are safest with their own kind.

    As for the victim in this matter, if he was, as the charges seem to indicate, physically battered by four hate-filled college boys, can someone provide the hospital name so I can send him flowers?

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