Students arrested for Arroyo Grande hate crime

April 26, 2011

Deputies arrested three teens on Monday night for the hate crime and vandalism that occurred at Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande on April 1.

The teens broke into their former school and wrote anti-black and Jewish graffiti on the whiteboards and drew a swastika on an outside door. Statements such as “white power” and “fuck niggers and Jews” were found in several classrooms.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department officials said the two 15-year-old boys and one 14-year-old boy admitted they planned to break into the school to cause damage including breaking fixtures and taking California flags.

Deputies booked the teens into the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Services Center on suspicion of hate speech, burglary, vandalism and criminal conspiracy.

Investigators said that the Mesa Middle School hate crime is not related to the March 18 cross burning that also occurred in Arroyo Grande.

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The part that makes me laugh is that the people who commit hate crimes view themselves as superior to the groups they target. But breaking into classrooms, damaging public property and scrawling rude messages isn’t the work of an intelligent person.

The idea behind designating something a “hate crime” is to clarify the extent of the crime to all concerned parties. “Hate Crime” implies the crime inflicted damage above and beyond that which is most obvious, and thus deserves a different degree of sanction.

A “hate crime” goes beyond just doing material damage, or property damage, and adds a level of human abuse that can be both mental and physical, or one or the other. And this is REAL abuse that can adversely affect a victim for years if not a lifetime.

Having an 11-foot cross set on fire outside one’s bedroom window is not simply a crime about having to put out a fire and dispose of charred wood. That is about terrorizing people, often children, and attempting to make them fearful, for life. And it can go way beyond that, essentially running people out of town, etc.

Bottom line, there is plenty of hard-nosed, get-tough-with-criminals common sense involved in creating a “hate crime” designation in our law books. It makes sense on so many levels and helps retain civility in a society where hate-mongers are so broadly tolerated, even celebrated. They have the right to hate, but when that hatred is combined with criminal activity in a way that makes that criminal activity more damaging, well, then, of course it makes perfect common-sense to make a more specific definition of the crime and its effects and victims.

Quite often the “idea behind” something is much different from how that something is actually used. In your 11-foot cross example, why not treat that as an act of terrorism, vandalism, or various threat crimes. My point is, there are probably several laws on the books already, and most “hate crime” is just one more pile-on for attorneys. I am not saying this to defend anyone’s malicious behavior, more to point out the massive redundancy in our legal system.

All crime will have HATE. As bobfromsanluis below mentions:

Do you really believe that a drug addict that is stealing to sell the goods so they can buy more drugs are being “hateful”? I believe that they are operating in such a stupor that emotions like hate or love do not come into play in any way, IMO.

To this I would say, YES. It is hateful, as all crime is: how else can we, as a society, justify rehabilitation? It’s a complicated issue, but the basics are: “that was bad” (i.e. hateful), “so you must make good” (i.e. rehabilitation). I will admit, it is a very loose definition of hate, and as I’ve stated earlier, hate comes in many levels and varieties.

Where this argument will start to fall apart, is in political crimes (i.e. one man’s freedom-fighter is another man’s terrorist). I’ll leave that can of worms sealed.

Let’s be honest, “Hate Crime” is basically a tool for political correctness and/or the cause célèbre. I’ve never seen a “Love Crime.”

Crime can be defined as something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful; or even (more politically) an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law.

So can one commit a crime without hate? Obviously hate for laws, hate for property rights (theft), etc. comes into play. Hate on many levels and in many varieties, but hate nonetheless. Malice aforethought and all that.

Screaming “hate crime!” is more to assuage self-imposed guilt and/or to play a race-/LGBT/what-have-you card, typically. Most people don’t like to hear this, but it is often the case.

Let me be clear: ALL CRIME IS HATEFUL. The level of hate can be minimal to extreme, but having a “hate crime” category is simply silly and one of the dopey results of throwing common sense out the window.

Thanks for the breath of sanity.

You’re welcome, Cindy. Feel free to copy and send my posting to your friends and acquaintances.

Couldn’t agree more, rOy.

I’ve been saying that since all this “Hate Crime” bull**it hit legislation. It’s a complete crock.

Crime is crime. Prosecute it.

You say “Crime is Crime”. What a lame cliche’. It means absolutely nothing. A more vacuous statement does not exist. Totally mindless, but not in a good way. But, if that’s the best you got, I guess you got to go with it. It being it, of course.

See my comments above, for a detailed explanation of why a “hate crime” designation is not automatically “bull**it” or a “complete crock”. Rather, it is a matter of common sense and legal practicallity and fairness.

Do you really believe that a drug addict that is stealing to sell the goods so they can buy more drugs are being “hateful”? I believe that they are operating in such a stupor that emotions like hate or love do not come into play in any way, IMO. I can agree that crimes of passion are “hateful”, but the definition of a hate crime as illustrated below is very specific; it seems that a certain segment of society has a real problem with protecting certain minority groups, like the LGBT community and to a degree, the racial minorities, which isn’t a real surprise since bigotry appears to be an ingrained way of life for some. The “common sense” that you feel is being thrown out the window is more like a slap in the face of certain conservatives who feel like certain segments of our society need to “stay in their place”, but the law has been written to afford an element of additional protection, and those fewer and fewer people still don’t like it.

Nope. Not sanity or anything else but ignoring the validity of increased sanctions against those slime who are so inept and ignorant as to feel they can be better by denigrating someone else. Could be the kids in this case are victims of parents who should be put in jail, or their own peers. Someone taught them this crap, and it ought to be beaten out of them immediately-one way or the other. Zero tolerance for hate crimes; those extra crimes that target innocent members of certain groups that members of other groups feel they can persecute. I say stamp that out with whatever energy available-and call it what it is, a hate crime. A crime of hate, there is no economic gain, no outrage at a wandering lover, no jealousy-just pure hate at most probably an already disadvantaged member of our society who the perpetrator does not nor never will even know. That is a hate crime, that is why we call it that. This is not some politically correct thing; I’m surprised at the naiveté of some of my esteemed bloggers.

Because an “advantaged member of our society” is not capable of such “hate” crimes? Sign me “Naive Blogger”…

No, I wrote it or your read it wrong. I say hate crimes are generally perpetrated by those who enjoy most of the advantages of our society (generally being white). I don’t know where you got your interpretation but it is the opposite of what I mean. Read the words again and see what I mean-we lean on those who are already less advantaged than white people. The physically and mentally challenged, blacks, browns, Asians, natives-and for some strange reason, even that class of people that cannot be discerned on sight from the masses, Jewish folks. And though there is some mistrust between some of those groups the majority (almost all) of all the nasty discrimination comes from the masters of the universe, whites. They already have it made, why some of them must spend any time denigrating others blows my mind. Fear, ignorance, jealousy and other poor traits of the lower classes I suppose. I don’t care if one has lots of manners and money-if you hate other types of people for reasons other than their actions you are low class in my book. Nothing but Klan slime…

There are a lot of laws on the books I would like to ignore. That’s not how I was raised, however.

When you say “All crime is hateful,” do you mean for yourself, or for all people?

If it’s for all people, then you are doing what you are griping about: imposing your own interpretation of what emotions another person must be feeling when they commit a crime.

I don’t think anyone can possibly know what another is thinking, which is why I fought so hard against “hate crimes” being put on the books. I don’t like the idea of a judge or jury using a ouija board or whatever to intuit what the accused was thinking when they committed a crime.

However, if the crime is on the books, and someone burns a cross in front of a young woman’s bedroom window, then, by God, they should be prosecuted for it as a hate crime.

I must disagree. Not ALL crime is “hateful”. Not at all. No way. Nope. Afraid not. You are just plain wrong about that. You are really mixed up on this one. Sorry.

I voted your opinion up because of your politeness =)

Your friend is Google.



A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Laws vary by state and if hate crimes are provided for by statute, the defintions of hate crimes and penalties imposed vary. States that have hate crime statutes provide harsher penalites for such offenses.

The underlying criminal offenses that are designated in hate crime laws include, but are not limited to, crimes against persons like harassment, terroristic threats, assault and crimes against property like criminal trespass, criminal mischief and arson. It may also include vandalism causing damage to a church, synagogue, cemetery, mortuary, memorial to the dead, school, educational facility, community center, municipal building, courthouse, juvenile detention center, grounds surrounding such places or personal property located within such places…….


I thought hate crime is about actually hurting someone or making threats to a particular individual. Since when did writing on a wall constitute a hate crime rather than simple vandalism?

Because harassment and intimidation against minorities are included in hate crimes, it doesn’t have to be physical.

For clarification on this matter, Cindy, see my posting above where I carefully explain the common sense and fairness that is at the root of having a ‘hate crime” law.