UVa Attackers Arrested

Six African-American high school-aged teenagers have been arrested and charged with a series of unprovoked assults of UVa students in the previous weeks. The two females and four males have apparently confessed, saying that they chose their victims because they were white. WINA has a brief story, but the full coverage can be found in Adrienne Schwisow’s story in Sunday’s Progress.

42 Responses to “UVa Attackers Arrested”


  • I’m quite relieved to know that these kids have been caught. Having been a victim in a similar scenario (I was in a group of three white people walking down Rose Hill in broad daylight when attacked by over a dozen black teenaged males shouting racial epithets), I feel a small amount of vicarious vindication in their arrest. (Given that they’ve confessed, although they have not yet been tried, I must admit that I may be jumping to conclusions here.) I doubt that the (un-caught) attackers that came after the three of us ever paid any form of pennance for their racist attack. I strongly suspect that if they had been, it may have been possible to perform some sort of educational intervention on the evils of racism. Perhaps it’s not too late for this bunch.

  • So these were “hate crimes” by legal definiton. Right?

  • My question is this – Why did these attacks not receive the full-court press from the media? Had these been “White on black” crimes, I would expect to have had Jesse Jackson and his ilk descending upon our fair city.

    Second question – since many of these alleged attackers are juveniles, will the police seek charges against their parents or guardians for not protecting the public from their children? Does Cville have a curfew law?

  • Wow — no kidding. If the races had been reversed, this would have been a national story. Can you imagine a group of six white teenagers rampaging around looking for black victims? As the great Reverend would be likely to say, “It’s Selma all over again.”

    Anyway, to answer your first question: do you really think any media group wants to risk the wrath of the ACLU and NAACP and Jesse and Al, et al., by framing this story in the typical hate-crime/racism terms that they would use if the roles were reversed? Not likely!

  • Charlottesville does indeed have a curfew law, which Waldo Jaquith and the ACLU among others tied to litigate into oblivion. Our local federal judge upheld the law with a long and now very influential opinion. The law offers a constitutional loophole. All a teen gang need say to the police at 3:00am is “we are exercising our freedom of association.” If the gang wants to top the defense with whipped cream and a cherry they can add “and discussing politics.” The police have to leave them alone.

    I would be curious to find out how that curfew law has been enforced if at all. Waldo–care to follow up?

  • After years of screaming for “hate” crime legislation where are the people screaming for it?

    This seems racially motive but what does that matter. Maybe it was town vs gown, if they were singled out because they were white college students the results the same. With the silence from all the usual suspects is it time to put away the “hate” crime scam. Other then at sentencing motives,ie seeing in anothers mind, makes no difference. Assault is wrong whatever the reason, hate crimes legislation does nothing to help other then to keep alive the culture of victimization.

  • Nighttime crime among juveniles is extremely rare. As of 1997, we had one juvenile crime during curfew hours every 10 days. Juvenile crime far more common between the hours of 3pm – 6pm. So why, exactly, do we have a nighttime curfew?

    See curfew.org for more information.

  • The curfew law is a red herring. I don’t care what time of day or night kids are outside. That’s for them and their parents and, if their parents can’t control their kids, it’s an issue for social services.

    Assault is the crime. There’s no need to add “time of day” status to the mix.

    Would there be some sort of perverted justice in putting these hoodlums in a room with Richard Smith and his UVa bully-boy gang and letting them duke it out?

  • Well… maybe there are no crimes during nighttime/curfew hours because all the delinquents are at home??? Sounds like the curfew laws are working.

  • If the parents cannot control their kids, it is an issue for the criminal justice system.

    Neither the parents nor the accused are not victims of society. The parents raised unruly children, deliberately or not, and it is a sad commentary that one of the initial reactions is to turn to the state for help, rather than look directly at the perpetrators and those enabling them.

    Why not add “time of day”? Whatever other charges can be piled on to keep these animals behind bars for as long as possible, the better.

  • Nice try. :) That was pre-curfew law.

  • “time of day” laws are about as relevant as “color of skin” laws.

  • One of the reasons that there are fewer reported crimes during curfew hours is because it’s easier to get away with them at night. That, and the fact that the curfew is working.

  • True. And labeling something a “hate crime” is ludicrous. We are all free to hate or love whatever or whomever we please.

    The thoughts that lead to the actions are an expression of freedom of thought – good or bad.

    The actions themselves should be punished, not the thoughts that perhaps led to them.

  • My wife and I went to see “You’ve Got Mail” at the Jefferson Theater a year or two back. About halfway through the movie, about a dozen young black teenagers entered and scattered throughout the seats. They sat down and started talking out loud, yelling to/at their friends, and generally acting like total nincompoops (and keep in mind this was a full hour into the movie). After this went on for about 10 minutes (during which time the 50 or so audience members tried vainly to silence the youths with a few “shhhhhs”), my wife got up to talk to the employee on duty.

    (Now, at this point, I was pretty annoyed, but I felt the teenagers’ behavior was something any group of ill-behaved kids would participate in — black or white.)

    The theater employee warily came into the theater and told all the kids they had to leave. Of course they grumpled and made the usual protestations, but as they got up to leave they started yelling things like “F–k all you white racist motherf–kers!” and similar sentiments.

    Now which party was guilty of racism?

  • Why not add “time of day”?

    Because it’s irrelevant. Because, in my country, we don’t “pile on” charges to send people for jail for as long as possible. We punish crimes with appropriate sentences. And we don’t refer to God’s children (regardless of their actions) as “animals”.

  • Let the punishment fit the crime(s)! If they behave like animals, by God, they should be treated as such!

  • Whatever other charges can be piled on to keep these animals behind bars for as long as possible, the better.

    Putting children in jail (and most of the accused are children) does little to serve them or the world. On the contrary, it puts them in a small room with other criminals where they learn more about how to be criminals. Knowing nothing about these individuals, I speculate that intervention and education (combined with sensible punishment) will leave them better people.

    “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind” -Gandhi

  • Then how about euthanasia?

  • youth in asian have a much lower crime rate. ;)Infact the crime rate in some asian countries, compare to the US, is statically non-existant.

  • NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!

    NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!

    Oh wait they were white…never mind

  • From reading/watching the local media, I can only surmise that:

    1) there is considerable disagreement within the various civil authorities about how to handle these cases;

    2) the police haven’t yet determined the identities of those involved, and their motives, in what was a series of multiple/episodic crimes. They’ve arrested four suspects (who have been quite talkative) and they suspect some 16 other assailants still-at-large were involved in this crime spree.

    Hence, on one day you have the Police Dept.’s Lt. J.W. Gibson explaining (in the Progress and recounted in the Cavalier Daily article) that the suspects volunteered that they committed the EARLY attacks “as an unplanned, spontaneous event,” and these same suspects said they continue to commit LATER violent crimes but now selecting their victims “on the basis of race”. And then in today’s article, we read that PD chief Longo and Commonwealth DA Chapman don’t want to show their hand yet (from the Progress: “Longo and Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman shied away from describing the attacks as hate crimes. ‘I haven’t seen the evidence in significant enough detail to sufficiently reflect on that,’ Chapman said Monday. He declined to say if the six will be tried as adults.)

    And as for SCLC local member Mr. Silva’s outrage (in the Progress) that anyone would think these were hate crimes . . . well, he must be playing ostrich and ignoring what came out of the admitted assailants’ own mouths. He is not exactly a “profile in courage”.

  • Did you report the crime, described above? Was the attack part of the current (since September 2001) crime pattern?

  • Sorry — my question about reporting teh crime were meant to be directed at Waldo’s account — and not this minor but nontheless uncomfortable racist verbal abuse in the theater.

    So, Waldo . . . ?

  • Simple – Mr. Silva is a racist hypocrite. Who will not call the attacks what they are because they do not serve to perpetuate his victimization agenda.

  • These kids have been taught over and over that they are the victims of white racism and that’s why they lash out at innocent people who just happen to be white.

  • Did you report the crime, described above? Was the attack part of the current (since September 2001) crime pattern?

    Yup, we called the cops, who took us via cruiser around the neighborhood and back to the Mall. This was many years ago, probably late 1995 or early 1996.

  • Wow. Already rationalizing their defence. Those poor victimized children. Who were driven by society to seek out and violently assault innocent victims.

    There is simply no excuse, no matter how hard one may try, for these people’s actions (or their parents’ complicity).

    These “children” have committed adult crimes, and should be treated as such.

    Why not hold them responsible for their actions?

  • Thanks then, for responding, and moreover for having done your civic duty — although one often shrugged off by too many. I mean this as the highest praise, really.

    In ’92 I went to county court to testify as a witness against several rich, white, well-connected UVa students who were charged with several crimes (though none involving physical violence or verbal abuse) against several victims including a black woman — a friend and dorm-mate of mine. They submitted guilty pleas that morning before I could testify, and thereafter spent their spring break in the local correctional facility. But still, I feel like I, too, stepped up to the plate to do my duty.

  • Anyone care to “drop a dime”?:

    FBI ANNOUNCES HATE CRIME HOTLINE

    The Richmond Division of the FBI has established a hate crime hotline for the public to use in reporting suspected hate crime activity. Hate crimes are often unreported as such and therefore it is difficult for law enforcement to measure the true extent of the problem in the community. Victims and witnesses are encouraged to come forward so these crimes can be properly investigated and the perpetrator(s) can be brought to justice. Hate crimes affect not just the individual person, but the community as a whole.

    It is important that the public understand what constitutes a hate crime. A federal hate crime is defined as a crime committed against a person because of that person’s race, religion, disability, or ethnicity. Federal law enables the FBI to investigate a crime when one of these factors provokes or gives rise to a crime.

    The public can call the FBI hate crime hotline at (804) 261-8146 to report any suspected hate crime activity.

  • These “children” have committed adult crimes, and should be treated as such.

    I hope that you also intend to permit them to drive, vote, own property, sign contracts and live independently.

  • No. They will be in jail.

  • No. They will be in jail.

    And if they’re found innocent after being tried as adults? Then will you (now that they’re adults, after all) support granting them all of the privileges that adults enjoy in society?

  • Well, Waldo, I can see your point but the plain fact is that there are plenty of “children” who drive (legally or illegally) and live somewhat independently if not a bit chaotic. As for signing contracts, I bet if you wanted to test it, someone would let them sign a contract and try to keep them to it (like a rental TV place) even if it is illegal (it’s amazing how many people fail to know their rights under the law). As for owning property, one could argue that many 16 year olds own automobiles but very few 16 or 20 year olds own real estate.

    I also know that in some states, you can get legal emancipation at say, as early as 15. I don’t know how Virginia stands on this. But you can probably get married!

    When you say children, one think of little kids quite frankly. I think late adolescence is a gray area because on one hand, you can do some of the above (drive car, own a car, as well as procreate) as well as have some standing in the legal system (I think that decisions on custody seem to favor older children’s opinions or at least give some lip service), social services. Yet, on the other hand,there is juvy which is supposed to allow children to make a mistake and have a chance of rehabilitation. Yet, some offenses are very serious and does the fact that you can be 17 years old, commit a felony and turn 18 the next day mitigate your legal standing and keep you in juvenile court? (That is a rhetorical question — I have no knowledge that any of the arrested had a similar age situation.)

    I also have to point out that this wasn’t an isolated incident; it seems as though this group was on a bit of a rampage to create mayham at the least and inflict serious harm and robbery at the other end.

    So when you say children and rights, I have to say that this is a very gray area and one that has to be examined to protect kids (and give them the possibility of rehabilitation and second chances) versus allowing borderline adults to run free without supervision to inflict more mayham.

  • So when you say children and rights, I have to say that this is a very gray area and one that has to be examined to protect kids (and give them the possibility of rehabilitation and second chances) versus allowing borderline adults to run free without supervision to inflict more mayham.

    You hit the nail on the head right there. I wish that I had time to reply more fully, but suffice to say that I’m troubled by the recent trend in America of pretending that people are other people for the purpose of punishing them. 11 year olds tried as adults and the like. Perhaps soon we’ll be seeing, as per “This Modern World,” 30-something white women charged as 19-year-old black males.

  • Absolutely. They are innocent until proven guilty. If they are indeed found not guilty, then I would support them having all thr privileges, as well as responsibilities, as adults.

  • Kind of brutal, but true. In Singapore they don’t even have a graffiti problem because they’re willing to cane those who break that law. As a result, they have very little graffiti – and canings are very rare.

    As a society, we consider that totally unacceptable, which is probably one reason why we’re conditioned to accept the defacement of public structures and propose shallow attempts at understanding instead of swift, sure, impactful (not necessarily physically) punishment.

  • “per “This Modern World,” 30-something white women charged as 19-year-old black males”

    I plead ignorance … could you please give some background with regards to this analogy?

  • The local (non-hotline) number is: 434-293-9663

  • “This Modern World” is a political comic strip that appears in the C-Ville Weekly, as well as (surprise) http://www.thismodernworld.com. It’s usually funny, always cynical, and ocassionally bitter.

  • I tried to find the comic, but I can’t track it down. There was a “This Modern World” a few years ago in which the Justice Department begins to try not merely children as adults, but a white homemaker in her 30s as a black male in his teens and a juvenile shoplifter as a white male President of the U.S. that’s slept with an intern, among others. It’s an excellent parody of the concept of pretending that people are somebody other than who they are for the purpose of persecuting them.

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