SLO High teen accused of bullying faces a felony hate crime charge

San Luis Obispo High School.
San Luis Obispo High School.

A 15-year-old San Luis Obispo High School student has been arrested on suspicion of a hate crime against a fellow student who is autistic, according to the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The suspect, who isn't being named because he's a minor, allegedly sent threatening and derogatory text messages related to the student's special needs and perceived sexual orientation.

The suspect had been bullying the autistic student since the beginning of the school year, police said.

The suspect also threatened to physically assault the victim because of his autism, according to police, whose investigation revealed there was a physical altercation between the suspect and the victim at the high school in late February.

Due to his age, the victim’s name also will not be released. The victim also was 15, according to police.

Police said they learned the suspect threatened the victim after the suspect became aware that police were investigating the matter.

San Luis Obispo police detectives obtained a warrant and arrested the suspect without incident on March 1.

The 15-year-old was was arrested on charges of a felony hate crime, felony witness intimidation and misdemeanor criminal threats. He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Services Center in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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