San Diego State Investigates Hate Crime, Vandalism Found At UC San Diego
Campus police at San Diego State University are looking for two suspects who allegedly made comments about President-elect Donald Trump and Muslims before stealing a student's belongings and possibly her car.
In a safety alert sent to students and staff, police said they're investigating the incident as a hate crime. In a statement, President Elliot Hirshman disclosed the woman is, in fact, Muslim and was wearing a hijab.
Police say the student was walking to her car in parking structure 12 around 2:30 p.m. when two males made what police believe was an anti-Muslim comment and grabbed her purse and backpack. "They removed her car keys before fleeing the area," the report says. "The victim left the area to contact to police. When police arrived on scene, her vehicle was missing. She was uninjured."
Hirshman said the university is "pursuing all possible measures to apprehend the suspects." One is described as a 5-foot-9-inch white male with blond or brown hair and light eyes wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. The second is described as a 6-foot-2-inch Hispanic male with dark hair wearing a gray hoodie and dark pants.
"We condemn this hateful act and urge all members of our community to join us in condemning such hateful acts," Hirshman said in a statement. "Hate crimes are destructive to the spirit of our campus and we urge all members of our community to stand together in rejecting hate."
SDSU Safety Contacts
Immediately report suspicious behavior: 911
Report tips to the SDSU Police Department: (619) 594-1991
Report anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers: (619) 235-8477
His statement came hours after sending out a campus-wide email urging the community to "ensure fair and equitable treatment of all members" following the divisive election. He said some student groups had already expressed fear and listed campus resources for students and staff.
The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties issued a statement Thursday calling on Trump to condemn the crime, as well as an incident at San Jose State University and vandalism on the door of a prayer room at New York University.
The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties is outraged to learn that a young Muslim woman was assaulted and robbed in San Diego yesterday afternoon. The report that her attackers also made comments about Donald Trump is especially troubling in light of Mr. Trump’s frequent use of both anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric while on the campaign trail.
We condemn this rhetoric and this behavior. We call on President-elect Trump to do the same. We call on all San Diegans, Californians, and Americans to reject all forms of anti-Muslim bigotry, and to challenge speech and actions that single others out based solely on their religion or heritage.
Muslim Americans and residents are an integral part of California’s rich cultural fabric. They have same rights that we enjoy for ourselves: to practice our religion freely and openly, to live and work without fear, and to participate fully and equally in public life. To treat them otherwise is both un-American and a direct contradiction of the values enshrined in our founding documents and our laws.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I share my grandparents escaped Nazi Germany yet I just spent the day making sure Nazi propaganda was removed from UC San Diego," Elizabeth Seckel said in an email.
A university spokeswoman said the graffiti was quickly removed.
Chancellor Pradeep Khosla joined other University of California chancellors in issuing a statement on the election outcome Wednesday. It did not expressly name Trump but sought to address "understandable consternation and uncertainty."
"Diversity is central to our mission," the statement says. "We remain absolutely committed to supporting all members of our community and adhering to UC’s Principles Against Intolerance."
Campus watch parties across the nation Tuesday and early Wednesday morphed into protests when Trump was declared the victor. In San Diego, 150 to 300 people marched on the streets near UC San Diego. An 18-year-old sustained major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol, after a group marched onto an Interstate 5 onramp at Nobel Drive.