A Capital University student has confessed to concocting several hate crime incidents at the school as a way “to get attention.”
Senior Jalen Mitchell confessed to “submitting multiple false reports to campus police” after campus police asked him at the end of January if he had written a hate-filled note that was taped to his residence’s door.
“It was a way to try to get attention, to say ‘Someone notice me, I’m dying on the inside,’” Mitchell told the Chimes, the student newspaper.
It seems Mitchell has been seeking “notice” for at least two years at the Columbus, Ohio school. In 2015, he pulled a stunt similar to this recent one, and the school responded as you might expect: “a series of events, including an open conversation and an inclusivity march, to raise awareness of the possibility of hate crimes here on campus.”
Mitchell said that reporting the first incident helped the feelings he was having, but it “didn’t solve what was really happening on the inside,” because he didn’t seek proper help afterwards. He said this is why he continued with the other two reports, where he says the problem spiraled out of control.
More recently, in the fall of 2016, Mitchell reported an assault on Astor Avenue, near the tennis courts. He told university police he was attacked on campus by a man with a knife during his walk home from visiting a friend. According to the safety bulletin, Mitchell received cuts and scratches on his neck, arms, leg and stomach, allegedly by a white male in his late 20s or early 30s with a full beard.
Mitchell wants those who are angry about the incidents being fabricated to know that he’s sorry, and he never thought it would go as far as it did.
“I didn’t mean to cause alarm, I didn’t mean to scare anyone,” Mitchell said. “I just wanted to be noticed … not for fame, just acknowledgement.”
After receiving help, he feels much more comfortable speaking about what he’s feeling, and he realizes that fabricating the reports was not the way to accomplish anything. He hopes that everyone sees him as “someone who’s broken, been broken and is crying for help.”
Jalen adds that he wishes “that those who feel his actions have delegitimatized the reporting of hate crimes will forgive him.”
The matter has been referred to (campus) Judicial Affairs.