Crime and Punishment

University of Maryland stabbing being investigated as a hate crime

2nd Lt. Richard Collins was stabbed to death while waiting for an Uber.

Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, has been arrested and charged with First Degree Murder following the stabbing death of newly-commissioned 2nd Lt. Richard Collins on the University of Maryland campus this past weekend. Preliminary investigation revealed that Urbanski was a member of the Facebook group “Alt-Reich Nation” and as a result the FBI is now joining the investigation.

From Baltimore Sun:

Collins was waiting with two other students for an Uber ride outside the Montgomery Hall dormitory on Regents Drive near U.S. 1 at about 3 a.m. Saturday when he was attacked.

The stabbing was captured by a surveillance camera, police said. They called it unprovoked.

Witnesses said the suspect was intoxicated and incoherent at the time of the attack, police said. Police have said the victim and suspect did not know each other.

Officers called to the scene found Collins wounded on the sidewalk, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Urbanski was arrested at the scene, police said. Officers recovered a folding knife, police said.

Collins’ friends told police they heard the suspect scream as he approached them.

The suspect said “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you,” police wrote in charging documents. Collins said “no,” police wrote. The suspect continued to approach, and stabbed him once in the chest.

Police said initially there was no indication that race played a role. But University Police Chief David Mitchell said information about the Facebook group was brought to their attention on Sunday.

The group, called “Alt-Reich Nation,” contained racist posts, he said.

I am not normally a fan of hate crimes legislation. As a Libertarian I find it dangerously close to the line of the Government policing thought. First-degree Murder is First-degree Murder. Throw the book at him. I hope the douchebag rots.

In this case, the choice of a folding knife suggests to me it was not a premeditated and well-planned attack – unlike the Dylan Roof/Charleston shooting. Unless the authorities find more than membership in a Facebook group, I would find such classification rather thin.

That said, an unprovoked stabbing in a drunken rage ought to be enough to remove Mr. Urbanski from society for an extended amount of time. Maybe he will slip on the soap.

Discussion

2 responses to ‘University of Maryland stabbing being investigated as a hate crime

  1. Freedom of association means that mere membership of a facebook group shouldn’t be nearly enough to prove a hate crime absent other evidence.

    But it’s hard to get too upset by it given that this guy should, by all current accounts, be locked away from society anyway.

    • The man is a Neonazi, part of a group that is about being a Neonazi, and stabbed a black man to death -unprovoked- while according to witness reports shouting racial slurs.

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