Chico State associate student president stabbed in apparent hate crime

(NBC) - Joseph Igbeneweka never thought the crimes he tries to prevent through projects as Chico State University's Associate Student President would be the same crime he would fall victim to: a hate crime.

"I don't think they were there to rob me or to take my money. I think their main motive was just to hurt someone that night. I could have been someone else. It could have been me and it was me that night," Igbeneweka said after being stabbed Sunday morning.

"This just shows that the problem is real out there and need to start making this place safer for the community at large," added Igbeneweka.

Igbeneweka says he was walking home alone from a party on West Sacramento Avenue, a little after 2:15 in the morning Sunday, when two men approached him, then began to threaten him and make racial slurs.

"They just wanted to pick a fight with me but I just kept walking away from the situation and they just kept insisting on calling me racial slurs and one of them actually asked me, 'have you ever been shot before?" said Igbeneweka.

One of the men then took out an unidentified weapon and stabbed Igbeneweka numerous times on his neck, chest, left arm and hand.

The two men ran off and a friend of Igbineweka's called 911.

Ironically, the attack happened just days after he attended a diversity summit at Chico State that addressed the issue of hate crimes.

Despite what has happened to him, Igbeneweka maintains a positive attitude.

He says he does not want people to be afraid of what happened, rather to learn from it.

Chico Police have arrested 19-year-old Barry Sayavong for the attack. He faces attempted murder and hate crime charges.

Police say the other man, 31-year-old Lue Xiong was also arrested for being at the scene of the attack.

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