UC Santa Cruz assault classified as hate crime
A case involving a student subjected to homophobic slurs and struck in the head by a rock at the University of California at Santa Cruz last week has been classified as a hate crime, school police said Thursday.
Officers are looking for three suspects in the incident, also considered an aggravated assault, reported on Nov. 11 around 11:30 p.m., police Chief Nader Oweis said.
The student was walking on a path away from Quarry Plaza where three men were following her and at least one of them yelled homophobic slurs at her, Oweis said.
She kept walking past Quarry Amphitheater toward Colleges Nine and Ten when one of the men threw a rock at her head, according to Oweis.
The victim fled, sought help and was treated by emergency crews for minor injuries, Oweis said.
All three suspects are described as men in their early 20s. One of them was unshaven and wore sweatpants and dark baseball cap while another suspect wore a light-colored sweatshirt, Oweis said.
Investigators obtained surveillance video from the area that showed three males, one in a hat, walking through Quarry Plaza, Oweis said.
Police haven’t been able to provide a more detailed description of the suspects due to the quality of the footage, according to Oweis.
The department is also investigating a similar incident that happened about 90 minutes earlier when three people in a 2010 or newer model white Ford Mustang yelled obscenities at a female student walking on Meyer Road, the chief said.
Police are also looking into an incident that happened Saturday around 10 p.m. when three men at Porter Meadow went up to a group of female students, who then left the area for the Porter B residence hall, Oweis said.
The three males went to the same hall a short time later and may have written obscenities on a whiteboard that belonged to one of the female students, according to Oweis.
Anyone with information on any of the three incidents is asked to call campus police at (831) 459-2231, ext. 1.