Basketball player arrested in latest hate crime

By on November 19, 2008
Andrew Vazzano

Quinnipiac freshman Harold Washington was arrested Friday in the latest development in Quinnipiac’s recent chain of hate crimes.

Washington, an African-American basketball player, was charged with third-degree intimidation based on bigotry and bias, second-degree harassment and second degree breach of peace. He was released on a $5,000 bond and will appear in court in Meriden on Nov. 28.

According to a statement from President John Lahey, Washington was dismissed from the University.

Hamden Police were notified on Nov. 5 that someone hacked into an African-American Quinnipiac basketball player’s Facebook account, and made threatening and racially-charged comments, according to Captain Ronald Smith. Later investigation led Hamden Police to believe that Washington was responsible.

“Bizarre,” was Smith’s summation of the latest turn of events. Washington was a victim of Charles Merritt’s alleged hate crime. Merritt was arrested on Oct. 29.

“Harold Washington was one of the three initial complainants in the arrest of Charles Merritt,” Smith said in a Friday night news conference held outside of Hamden Police headquarters. “Harold Washington was also the roommate of Charles Merritt.”

But according to Smith, this crime is unrelated to Merritt, though Hamden Police are looking into interactions between Merritt and Washington. Smith referred to the two events as “very similar.”

“It’s just an unfortunate incident at Quinnipiac,” Smith said of the recent developments. “Right now, it appears that we’ve arrested everyone responsible for the acts of hatred.”

Lahey was personally grateful for the assistance of students, faculty and staff over the past month.

“This has been a trying time for our University community,” Lahey said. “While we reiterate that we have absolutely no tolerance for acts of this kind, we must remain steadfast in doing all we can to prevent them.”

Lahey asked anyone who has information to call Quinnipiac Security at 203-582-8782 or to call an anonymous tip-line at 203-582-3008.


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