April 19th, 2010
07:30 PM ET

Student leader stabbed; hate crime alleged

The student body president of California State University, Chico, was recovering Monday from stab wounds suffered in what police believe was a hate crime, officials said.

Joseph Igbineweka, who was born in Nigeria, was stabbed early Sunday while walking in a Chico neighborhood near the college where mostly students reside, Chico police Sgt. Rob Merrifield said.

Igbineweka passed two men who began to make racial slurs, Merrifield said. He ignored them and continued to walk, but they followed him and continued to yell at him.

Igbineweka eventually turned around, and one of the men struck him, Merrifield said. He fought back, but the man pulled a pocket knife and stabbed him at least four times, in the neck, chest, stomach and arm, according to Merrifield. The attacker fled on foot.

Several police officers were in the area and were alerted to the situation, Merrifield said. An officer found Igbineweka and was able to get a description of the attacker and alert other officers in the area.

A suspect, 19-year-old Barry Sayavong, was found and arrested a few blocks away, Merrifield said. Sayavong, of Chico, is facing charges of attempted murder and a hate crime, according to Merrifield.

Igbineweka was hospitalized Monday but is expected to recover, Merrifield said. His worst injury was a deep gash on his arm.

Read the full CNN.com story

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  1. Jim

    Igbineweka will recover, thank God. But Sayavong's life is ruined forever. I hope he gets 50 years. What a dumba*s. And I hope they charge his buddy as an accomplice. Their parents must be so proud that their kids, without provocation, teamed-up on a black college kid, who is also President of the student body. No doubt these thugs had been in the making for a while. Let me guess, played lots of video games, did poorly in school, showed a lack of respect for others, displayed no discipline, and were coddled by their parents. When will kids learn that the world owes them nothing, and that it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to find their way in life. For God's sake, our society is structured so that kids have no major responsibilities (between the ages of birth to about 18) except to educate themselves so that when they become adults they are ready and able to provide for themselves. But no, today parents and society just looks the other way when kids refuse to do their part. Are we surprised then when we read stories like this. It was a youth-time in the making.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ceecee

    Igbinegweka you are in our thoughts and prayers. We need tougher hate crime penalties. These people are sick..mentally sick.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A. Greene

    Unfortunately, his attacker did not see that Mr. Igbinegweka bled the same color blood that runs through his own body because he turned to run like the ignorant coward that he is. He failed to notice that inside, we are all the same. Where we come from and the colors of our skins is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Imagine all of the things we could accomplish if only we could get past racial differences. All of the things as a species. It's amazing and deeply saddening to me. I pray for them both. First for Mr. Igbinegweka's physical recovery....and secondly for Mr. Sayavong's mental recovery. Ignorance is a disease.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |