2 Marines Charged with Hate-Related Crime After Slurs Found at University of Maryland Dorm

The Box and Staff representing Marine Barracks Washington (MBW) take their place as the U.S. Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps performs during an evening parade at MBW, Washington, D.C.
The Box and Staff representing Marine Barracks Washington (MBW) take their place as the U.S. Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps performs during an evening parade at MBW, Washington, D.C., May 22, 2015. (Sgt. Melissa Marnell/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Two Marines have been charged in connection to a hate-related crime at the University of Maryland, the service confirmed to Military.com. The alleged crime -- which included writing racial slurs inside a residence hall at the university -- occurred last year.

The university's police department announced Feb. 20 that it had charged Lance Cpl. Hayden Pritchard, 22, and Lance Cpl. Sergio Delgado, 21, after a nearly yearlong investigation. The investigation began when antisemitic symbols and slurs against the Black community were discovered in a dorm last spring.

A spokesperson for Marine Barracks Washington, also known as 8th and I, confirmed to Military.com on Tuesday that the Marines identified by the University of Maryland police were the ones charged with the alleged crime.

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"The charges against Lance Cpl. Delgado and Lance Cpl. Pritchard reflect conduct that is inconsistent with the exceedingly high standards the United States Marine Corps expects of its Marines," Capt. Kayla Haas, a spokesperson for Marine Barracks Washington, told Military.com.

"Further, such behavior would not reflect the outstanding conduct and professionalism displayed by the vast majority of Marine Barracks Washington's Marines and sailors. Should these charges be substantiated, Lance Cpl. Delgado and Lance Cpl. Pritchard will be held fully accountable for their actions," she said.

Pritchard was charged with one count of race/religious property damage and trespassing. Delgado was charged with trespassing. 

Haas said that both Delgado and Pritchard enlisted in the Corps in 2022 as infantrymen. They were assigned to Marine Barracks Washington that same year. Both graduated recruit training from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. The alleged crime is under investigation by both the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the University of Maryland Police Department, or UMPD.

The university's police department said it reviewed footage to help find the Marines connected to the hate-related crime. Officers with the university first responded to a "hate bias incident" on April 29. That same day, officers returned to the dorms to find additional racial slurs on multiple floors of the building.

"Since receiving the initial reports, our detectives worked diligently on this investigation by reviewing video footage, following up on leads, and more," a press release from UMPD last week said. "Because of their continuous investigation, we were able to identify the suspects involved and bring charges."

FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., was first to report the charges against two men, but their identities as Marines were not known until now.

Marine Barracks Washington is the oldest active-duty post in the Marine Corps, according to its website. It is also the service's most public-facing unit and is home to the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Band, the Marine Corps Color Guard, and the Marine Corps Body Bearers -- all of which serve important functions in the Washington, D.C., area.

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