CSUC Student Body President Victim of 'Hate Crime'

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CHICO, Calif. -- Chico State student body President Joseph Igbineweka was stabbed early April 18 in an attack that police describe as an attempted murder and hate crime. Igbineweka was taken to Enloe Medical Center, and a hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition later in the day.

A Chico Police Department press release says Igbineweka "received wounds to his neck, chest, abdomen and arm" when he was attacked on Warner Street near West Sacramento Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. Two men were taken into custody, including suspect Barry Sayavong who is accused of stabbing and slashing Igbineweka after using racial slurs to insult him.

Igbineweka, 23, is a native of Nigeria, who according to his online profile, moved to the United States at age 15 and graduated high school in Richmond, Calif.

Chico State University President Paul Zingg condemned the attack in an April 18 telephone interview as a symptom of racism that is "deep-seated and widespread and getting worse" on college campuses and in larger communities. Zingg had visited Igbineweka that afternoon.

Zingg said most of the wounds Igbineweka suffered were superficial, but there was "some damage to his left wrist lower arm that may be more serious." He said Igbineweka was "very saddened."