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Samohi Graduate Charged with Stalking, Assualt

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By Jorge Casuso

September 23, 2019 -- A 21-year-old Samohi graduate who appeared on a popular YouTube reality TV series has been charged with stalking two students in Berkeley and assualting one of them.

Yahn Bruggeman, who listed a Santa Monica address as his current home, was arrested September 12 by Berkeley police after a female victim reported the suspect had sent multiple text messages threatenening to rape her, police said.
Yahn Bruggeman
Courtesy Berkeley Police Department

Bruggeman was charged last week with assaulting the victim in February 2018 and stalking and making terrorist threats against her this month, according to court records reviewed by the Lookout.

He also was charged with stalking a male victim between March 1 and September 12, 2019, according to the charges filed by the Alameda County District Attorney's office September 16.

Both alleged victims were students at UC Berkeley, where Bruggeman had attended school, the documents state.

On September 12, the female victim spotted Bruggeman on campus and alerted police, who arrested him on Telegraph Avenue on multiple charges, according to the documents.

In a declaration filed by the Alameda County DA's office on September 14, the two met on the UC Berkeley campus in the fall of 2017, when both were attending school.

The suspect pursued the victim in "a romantic way" despite her insistence that the relationship remain "platonic," according to the declaration for a warrantless arrest granted by the court the day it was filed.

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The alleged assault "by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury" took place at Bruggeman's fraternity house on February 11, 2018 while the two were on a sofa watching a movie, according to the declaration.

"Bruggeman asked the victim if she liked to be choked," the declaration stated. "The victim felt uncomfortable and advised Bruggeman that they should not be conversing about that.

"Shortly after, Bruggeman came over to the victim, grabbed her by the neck with both hands and choked her until she could not breathe.

"Bruggeman positioned his body diagonally onto the victim and was heavily breathing and panting, in the victim's ear," the declaration said.

Bruggeman, who is 6'7" and weighs 220 pounds, then "slapped the victim on the face multiple times, shocking" her. Due to his size and the "violence inflicted on her, the victim felt as though she could not leave."

Bruggeman repeated the same actions again, and this time "the victim repeatedly stated 'No,' but Bruggeman did not listen to her," according to the declaration.

"Shortly after, Bruggeman fell asleep and the victim was able to leave his residence."

Last month, the victim received a phone call from Bruggeman "stating that he was in love with her and coming to Berkeley to see her," the declartion said.

The victim blocked the number, but he used a different phone to send her multiple texts, according to the declaration.

In one of the texts, the DA said, Bruggeman "describes being a rapist" and states:

"'We are truly an underrepresented minority in this developing world, and it's difficult for people to understand the struggles of being a rapist in today's day and age.'"

The victim told Bruggeman to stop sending messages and threatened to place a restrianing order on him, but the messages continued, according to the declaration.

On September 9, the victim said she received a final message that stated:

"I am interested in raping you one time for real. I would prefer rape of the posterior and tonsils but could provide rape to the vagina as well if need be."

The victim advised authorities that Bruggeman had also been stalking his former male friend, who is a UC Berkely student.

According to the charges, Bruggeman "made a credible threat with the intent that (the male victim) be placed in reasonable fear for his safety and the safety of his immediate family."

In a Mirandized statement, Bruggeman "admitted to meeting the (female) victim one time" and said they had no other contact, according to the DA's declaration.

"When shown a photograph of the victim, Bruggeman denied knowing the victim. Bruggeman also provided the same phone numbers he used to text message the victim."

Bruggeman was served with an Emergency Protective Order keeping him away from the victim and a search warrant was executed at his motel room, the DA said.

Bruggeman's laptop and cell phone were seized and booked into the Berkeley property room as evidence, according to the DA.

Bruggeman was booked into the Berkeley City Jail and transferred to Santa Rita jail, according to the BPD. He posted bail last Tuesday for $100,000.

At the time of his arrest, Bruggeman was on probation for a misdemeanor DUI arrest in Berkeley two years ago.

Acording to Berkeleyside, a local independent news site, Bruggeman appeared in a popular Los Angeles-based reality TV series on YouTube called “SummerBreak” while he was a Samohi student.

His video biography created for the show had more than 210,000 views, according to the online site.

As a Samohi student, Bruggeman was an I-House Representative and won second place in the financial services category at the 2015 Southern California District DECA conference, which "prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management," according to local media reports.

He was studying cognitive science at UC Berkeley and had expected to graduate next year, according to Berkeleyside.

An October 24, 2016 report by NBC Bay Area headlined "Interfraternity Council at UC Berkeley Sets New Party Rules After Sex Assault Reports," Brugggman, is quoted as supporting the ban.

The incoming freshman, who was pledging into a fraternity at the time, told the station that the new rules sent the right message about preventing sexual assault on campus, NBC reported.

"You know you can't get away with it," Bruggeman said.

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