Stabbing death of Bowie State University student being probed as possible hate crime


Police and the FBI say the murder of an African-American man at University of Maryland may be a hate crime.

 The victim, 23-year-old Richard Collins III, had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army just two days before he was killed. He was a senior at Bowie State University celebrating with two friends at College Park at the time of the crime. Police are calling it a random, unprovoked attack.

 The suspect, 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, is a University of Maryland student. Police say he approached Collins and his friends at around 3 a.m. Saturday as they were waiting for an Uber on Regents Drive. Police say Urbanski started yelling.

 "He said to the victim, 'Step left, step left if you know what's good for you,'" said University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. "The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said, 'No.' It was then that Sean Urbanski stabbed the victim in his chest."

 Investigators say Urbanski, who they believe had been drinking, never left the scene and was arrested without incident.

 Mitchell said police have learned that Urbanski was a member of a racist group on Facebook called Alt-Reich Nation, hateful toward women and minorities.

 "Especially African-Americans," Mitchell said. "Which brings up questions as to the motive in this case."

 The FBI is now assisting with digital forensics to see what else Urbanski was involved with online.

 Collins' family was too devastated to speak Sunday. Their pastor, Darryl Godlock, served as a spokesman.

 "This was a good kid and he was going places," Godlock said. "He was going places and he had high aspirations to achieve all the goals that he set before him as far as his military career. We're just devastated that his life has just been taken away with this senseless act of violence."

 Godlock said Collins' father was in the Navy and Collins wanted to follow in his footsteps serving in the military. He was part of the Army's Intelligence Division, according to Godlock.

 "He loved his family, he loved people and he loved God," he said. "We're in shock at what has happened to him."

 Urbanski is from Severna Park in Anne Arundel County. No one answered the door at his home. A neighbor told FOX 5 that Urbanski had gone to school with his daughter and played at his home growing up. He said he was utterly shocked by the allegations.

 Urbanski is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree assault. He's being held without bond.

 A vigil for Collins is in the works for Monday.


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