Ashland, Oregon – Two students from Southern Oregon University (SOU) have recently been arrested for vandalizing the Chabad Jewish Center in December. The incident occurred when three individuals approached the center, with one of them throwing eggs and shouting the phrase “Heil Hitler”. The Ashland Police Department has identified all three individuals involved as SOU students.
Zachary Demarest, an 18-year-old from Corvallis, has been identified as the person who threw the eggs and shouted the offensive phrase. Another 18-year-old student, Jacob Wilhelm, has also been identified and arrested. The third person in the video has been identified but is not being named as they were not directly involved in the crime.
It has been confirmed that all three individuals were students at SOU at the time of the incident. However, they had left the area for winter break shortly after the incident was reported. The two students who have been charged are no longer enrolled at SOU.
The Ashland Police Department continued their investigation when the new term started and the students returned to campus. Demarest has been instructed to turn himself in, and he complied with this request. He is now facing charges of third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree bias crime.
Wilhelm, on the other hand, has been charged with Bias Crime 2nd Degree and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree as a co-conspirator. His court date has been scheduled for February 7, 2024.
The Ashland Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon was targeted by the vandalism, with eggs being thrown and antisemitic slurs being shouted. The community is urged to assist the Ashland Police Department in identifying the person responsible for this hate crime.
As this investigation unfolds, it is essential to address the severity of such incidents and the impact they have on targeted communities. The Chabad Jewish Center is a place of worship and community, and any act of vandalism or hate speech must be condemned.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Ashland Police Department. Let us stand together against hate and ensure the safety and well-being of every individual, regardless of their religion or background.