White roomates forced bicycle lock around African-American college student's neck, prosecutor says

There's anger on the campus of San Jose State University over an incident, prosecutors say, in which a student became the target of violent racism.

The alleged victim's parents tell the San Jose Mercury News the crimes are, "horrific."

San Jose State University students voiced their outrage Thursday, shortly after hate crime charges were filed against three white students for allegedly abusing their African-American roommate. 

Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Erin West said, "Three roommates took a U-shaped bicycle lock, and the three of them forced it around his neck."

The District Attorney in San Jose has charged three students with a misdemeanor hate crime and battery. Published reports say 18-year-old Logan Beaschler turned himself in on Thursday, with bail set at $15,000. Joseph Bomgardner, 19, and Colin Warren, 18, are expected to surrender this week.

Additionally, they are charged with hanging a Confederate flag on the wall of their shared apartment, as well as Nazi symbols and photographs of Adolph Hitler, and giving their roommate the nick-name "Three-Fifths," a slavery-era reference to a black person's supposed value compared with a white person.

West said, "He complained about the nickname. And they changed the nickname to a different nickname, 'Fraction'."

The abuse is alleged to have taken place on campus from August to October. The district attorney says the victim did not alert campus authorities, but his parents eventually found out and reported the abuse to the university. The accused students have been suspended. No word yet on how they plan to plea or if they've retained legal representation.

"I definitely think that this should be a hate crime," said a student at the rally Thursday. "Because this was too, it hit too close to home for it to be considered a joke."

If convicted, the three students could face a maximum of one year in county jail. They could be arraigned as early as next month.