Civil rights charges levied in egging incident

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 16 2003 12:00 AM ET

Two college students who threw eggs at a gay student club's booth at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on February 13 now face charges of civil rights violations. District attorney's office spokeswoman Michelle Goula said crimes of that nature are cited from the same section of the state penal code as hate crimes, even when they are not labeled as such. One of the attackers, William Bugenig, 22, expressed remorse for the incident. "I didn't mean any harm to anybody," Bugenig told The [San Luis Obispo] Tribune. "Anyone that was there, I totally apologize for it. I know I was in the wrong."

Bugenig, who lives in Morro Bay, and Nicolas Taliaferro, 20, who lives in San Luis Obispo and attends Cuesta College, are charged with one count each of violating civil rights and damaging property. The two are to be arraigned June 9. If convicted, each could face up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, and 400 hours of community service for the misdemeanor charge. Court and police records show that Bugenig and Taliaferro each threw two eggs at a booth staffed by the group Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals United. "I viewed the booth to be located in a free speech area on campus," Bugenig said in a statement submitted to police, "and I guess you could say that this was my attempt to express my opinion, which, obviously, I went about in totally the wrong way."

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