Skip to comments.Friend of black Gonzaga student admits staging harassment to gain attention (hate crime hoax)
Posted on 05/08/2003 1:43:41 PM PDT by Phantom Lord
Friend of black Gonzaga student admits staging harassment to gain attention
SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Gonzaga university student has admitted writing a racial epithet on a black student's door and is being investigated in a string of other harassing incidents, Spokane police said.
Police issued a summons late Tuesday for 27-year-old Althea Logwood to appear in court for filing a false report. The incidents had been investigated as hate crimes.
Logwood was a classmate and close friend of the mixed-race couple who were victims last month of harassing calls, car vandalism and scrawled racial slurs.
Police Chief Roger Bragdon said Logwood told investigators that she wrote the epithet on the door of Anthony and Teneasa Epefanio's university-owned apartment in an apparent attempt to get attention.
On the night of April 23, Logwood had volunteered to help the Epefanios pack to temporarily leave their apartment because of earlier harassment.
While alone in the apartment, she called 911 to say two men were trying to break into the apartment and had written a racist slur on the door, Bragdon said.
When detectives first questioned Logwood about that report, she was evasive and denied involvement, Bragdon said.
After the questioning, Logwood called Teneasa Epefanio to apologize, Bragdon said. Investigators interviewed Logwood again and she admitted she made a false report, he said.
"She is the one who wrote that word," Bragdon said. "Because she's made a statement about this one incident, she obviously has to be a person of interest for the entire situation."
Logwood "felt she was being left out as a friend," Bragdon said. "She wanted to be the center of attention in Teneasa's life again. This is a case of a troubled person having relationship issues."
The investigation is continuing and Logwood could face felony malicious harassment charges, Bragdon said.
"I'm just shocked," Teneasa Epefanio said. "She was someone we trusted."
Epefanio, 26, will graduate this week with a degree in political science. Logwood, known to friends as "Allie," is a senior criminal justice major at Gonzaga.
She will be subject to the university's judicial process, spokesman Dale Goodwin said Wednesday. If found responsible, Logwood could face disciplinary actions ranging from community service or mental health counseling to expulsion, he said.
The harassment of the Epefanios occurred in the same area where minority students at Gonzaga's School of Law reported racially harassing phone calls and letters in 1995.
Some of the students left Gonzaga for other schools, despite the school's efforts to beef up security and widespread support from the university community.
More hate mail was sent and threatening phone calls were made to at least one of the same students in 1996 and 1997. In 1996, it was discovered that some of the harassing letters had been reproduced on a photocopier in the school.
No arrests were made.
Bragdon said he was surprised to learn the suspect was the Epefanios' friend.
"I'm glad we don't have a racist out there stalking students at Gonzaga," he told The Spokesman-Review. "I'm glad we have an answer to calm the community."
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