A male 18-year-old University of Missouri student was charged with a hate crime after an April incident, where he drew a swastika on the ceiling of a stairwell in a dorm. He then wrote, “You have been warned.”
He was arrested on April 21 and held in Boone County Jail on a $4, 500 bail. He later charged on May 18 with property damage in the second degree, which was motivated by discrimination. In Missouri, this type of crime is considered a Class D felony, and the student could receive up to four years in prison if convicted.
What led up to the arrest?
On the afternoon of April 8, in the Mark Twain hall of the university, allegedly a swastika and an triangle which signified the mark of the “Illuminati.” These were later painted over with white paint. Then, two days later, at approximately 7 p.m., another swastika and the words, “You have been warned” had been drawn on the ceiling of a stairwell. Through anonymous calls, investigators were able to locate the UM student.
On April 21, the student confessed to committing the acts of vandalism, citing that he really was only acting in the “spur of the moment.” He also admitted that he had been motivated by watching videos on YouTube that poked fun at jihadism.
Hearing to Take Place June 23
Boone County’s prosecutor has alleged that the case may play out in a unique way, as it goes beyond a simple case of vandalism. He is quoted as, “the property that was damaged belongs to the university, but the victim in the case is the broader community.”
The different layers of complexity to the case may further contribute to a difficult road ahead for prosecutors and the defense team. The student’s preliminary hearing will commence on June 23.
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