SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — An African-American San Jose State University student who said he was the victim of hate crimes by his dorm mates has filed a $5 million claim against the university and other parties.
The claim, filed on behalf of 18-year-old freshman Donald “D.J.” Williams Jr. is not a lawsuit, but is a precursor that allows for settlement discussions to take place in an effort to avoid a lawsuit.
Carl Douglas, a Beverly Hills attorney representing the student, wrote in the claim that Williams was subjected to “intentional, malicious, offensive, and racist assaults, batteries and humiliation by several of his fellow suite-mates.”
“It is really amazing that he has been able to endure so much,” Douglas told KPIX 5. “He’s a proud strong American, and he is not going to let these bullies, this harassment, and these roommates deter him from his dream.”
The suitemates are accused of forcing Williams to wear a bicycle lock around his neck. They are also accused of making slave references about Williams, hanging a Confederate flag, and threatening the student with physical violence.
Four students have been charged with misdemeanor battery charges with a hate crime enhancement. The students are 18-year-old Logan Beaschler, 19-year-old Joseph Bomgardner, 18-year-old Colin Warren, and a fourth student who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged incidents.
The claim names University President Mohammad Quayoumi, resident assistant Charles May and other unknown employees of the University.
Late Thursday afternoon, Pat Lopes, a spokesperson for San Jose State University issued this statement:
“We understand that a claim was filed today, but also that it was filed with the wrong agency. As a result, there is no pending claim before the California State University. We will contact counsel to the family to let him know of the error and of the proper filing requirements. Beyond that, the CSU does not comment on pending claims.”