Three San Jose State University students were charged with hate crimes for bullying their black roommate with Nazi symbols, racial slurs, Confederate flags and a bicycle lock, which they stuck around his neck. They said they were just playing "pranks." They also blamed a fish.
The men -- Joseph Bomgardner, 19, and Logan Beaschler and Colin "Boat Shoes" Warren, both 18 -- allegedly (and this is all alleged, since they've been charged but not convicted) started "teasing" their roommate (whose name is being withheld) after a freshman orientation's cultural sensitivity training segment, according to the AP. They called him "three-fifths" because references to slavery are the sort of harmless funny jokes you make following a cultural sensitivity training class.
That progressed to hanging a Confederate flag in the window, writing racial slurs on dry-erase boards, barricading him in his bedroom and wrestling him to the floor to lock a bike lock around his neck, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The RAs knew of at least some of the harassment; two of them asked the students to take the Confederate flag down from the window and put it somewhere where the public wouldn't see it. It was still in the dorm when the police searched it. Good looking out, RAs. Finally a Residential Life Coordinator called the police on October 14, according to the incident report.