You have permission to edit this article.

Recently acquitted for stabbing fellow student, Jarred Ha returns to the UW for spring quarter

  • Updated
  • 34
Jarred Ha

Jarred Ha made it back to the UW Seattle campus just in time to see the cherry blossoms after a year-long absence.

Jarred Ha, 22, took his first steps back on the UW Seattle campus earlier last month, after an absence of more than a year that took him from jail, media vilification, and academic suspension to acquittal and the resumption of his life.  

These steps felt like the first in a return to normalcy, said Ha, who was served an emergency suspension order by the UW barring him from university grounds and temporarily suspending him as a UW student in January 2015, the day after he stabbed UW student Graham Harper six times during an altercation at an off-campus party.

In trial this January, a jury heard two recollections of the night’s events: from Ha and from Harper. Harper claimed he had been defending a group of women from a violent Ha, who attacked them at a party. Ha claimed the women attacked him, and when he defended himself, Harper assaulted him. A King County jury sided with Ha, acquitting him of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault for punching a woman in the face.

Following the court’s decision, the UW lifted Ha’s suspension on Feb. 23, 2016. It is a suspension Ha’s supporters say was inconsistent with university policies, and the ASUW student senate is now demanding the university revise and clarify its policies on emergency suspensions.

Ha’s point of view

Because Ha’s emergency suspension was so long, he was forced to reapply to the UW upon his acquittal this winter as a returning student to finish his accounting degree.

After being allowed back on campus, Ha received a letter in the mail officially notifying him of his re-acceptance into the UW and Foster School of Business for spring quarter.

“It was kind of surprising,” Ha said. “It didn’t really hit when it first happened.”

In a meeting in Suzzallo Library on March 8, Ha remembered his excitement upon being readmitted. He said it was the UW Community Standards & Student Conduct’s (CSSC) failure to follow procedure described in the Washington Administrative Code in lifting the emergency suspension that postponed his return to classes.

This forced him to withdraw from two consecutive quarters and then reapply as a returning student for this spring quarter, per the UW’s Withdrawal Policy.

Seeing this delay as unfair, Ha said he and his lawyer fought “inch by inch” with the UW CSSC through multiple proposed resolutions. The first of these resolutions, according to Ha, asked him to sign an agreement requiring his attendance at alcohol consumption classes in order to reapply.

“[The] UW messed up and made a snap judgment,” Ha said. “But I respect them enough to give them the chance to make the right decision and they have been.”

Beyond a formal apology from the university, Ha hopes the UW will choose to discipline the other students involved in the Jan. 25 altercation.

If the UW is as concerned with student campus safety as it claims, Ha said, the university should discipline Harper, who the court concluded was the aggressor.

“It will definitely be uncomfortable and awkward,” Ha said about seeing Harper on campus. “I’ll probably ignore him.“

Harper’s point of view

Harper, 21, maintains his version of events, and is suing Ha for medical costs. 

Confined to the hospital for a week following the stabbing, Harper also withdrew from the UW for winter quarter 2015.

In an on-campus meeting with Harper and his parents March 10, Harper displayed several massive scars on his abdomen and legs from the six stab wounds that required emergency surgery at Harborview Trauma Center. 

Because of the ongoing legal proceedings, Harper, on the advice of his attorney, refrained from an interview, but provided a statement detailing the extent of his injuries and explaining his position. 

Harper’s statement refers to one stab wound to the left chest as an “attempt at [his] heart,” and “two 6-inch-long, very deep, perfectly placed carvings to each upper inner thigh” as attempts by Ha at castration. These two thigh wounds came, Harper notes, “within one-quarter inch of [his] femoral arteries.” 

Two stab wounds in Harper’s abdomen had his intestines protruding outside of his body, his statement details. One 10-inch wound reaching from Harper’s knee to his groin 

“severed [his] quadriceps muscle into two separate halves.” One year later, Harper’s statement says that his knee “now dislocates easily due to muscle loss,” and that he has long-term nerve damage.

Harper’s mother, Deborah, recalled his first words after waking up in the hospital being “Can I still have children?”

Harper believes that the university is correct in not pursuing disciplinary action against him or the women involved in the altercation that night.

“Neither myself nor the young women who were assaulted have ever been charged with a crime. Our initial statement, deposition, and the trial recordings show that our stories are consistent. We did not attack Ha,” his statement read. “The other victims and I did not bring these charges against Ha. The state did and for very good reasons, which they continue to stand by.”

ASUW student senate speaks out

Despite Ha’s re-acceptance, the ASUW student senate is pressuring the UW to address what members believe was a misuse of emergency suspension orders.

Ha’s case came to the attention of ASUW through senate speaker Kevin Celustka, who reached out to Ha on the social media platform Reddit while Ha was hosting an “Ask me anything” panel on Feb. 9, following his acquittal. 

Upon Ha’s agreement, UW student senator Alec Slaney said a group of senators mobilized immediately, wanting to get a resolution out as soon as possible to “correct the blatant injustice” on the part of the university. 

Slaney sponsored the ASUW student senate’s resolution urging the UW to address what he called an “unjust” use of emergency suspension orders in Ha’s case, and aiming to prevent said injustice from happening again in the future.

According to the resolution, proposed to the student senate on Feb. 19, the law enables university authorities to suspend any student whose conduct “represents a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the university or any member of the university community” through an emergency suspension order. 

Originally, the resolution called for the university to forgo issuing emergency suspension orders while a student is in police custody, physically incapable of posing a danger to the public safety, the welfare, or health of the community. In situations like those, the original resolution recommended the university follow the non-emergency suspension procedure so as to “make sure that the student is allowed to advocate for themselves, regardless of what’s being charged against them.”

The most recent version of the resolution recommends that when a student is served with an emergency suspension, and when subsequent legal procedures force that student to withdraw, the student be fast-tracked for re-admission. 

The resolution passed March 29 and has been forwarded to administration members, including UW president Ana Mari Cauce.

Ha said “it’s very humbling” to have others working hard to come to his aid just from hearing his story, without personally knowing him.

“I can’t wait for the first day of spring quarter to step foot back into Paccar,” Ha said two weeks before the quarter started. “I’ll probably have the biggest smile on my face walking in the first day.”


Reach contributing writer Shelby Mang at

(34) comments

It's a miracle this incident didn't end this way:

Unfortunately the Judge in this case would not allow the King County Prosecutor to introduce evidence that Ha is an avid knife collector and is trained in martial arts. Graham Harper's scars are proof that Ha was trained in how to use this deadly knife and that this was not an act of self-defense. If you watch the video on YouTube "How deadly is the Karambit" you will completely understand why Ha should NOT to be allowed anywhere on campus and why the students are not safe.
The University of Washington made a grave mistake in allowing Ha back in school.
In 2007 a student killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus after he was accused of stalking two female students. The Virginia Tech administrators were criticized by a state appointed counsel for failing to take action that could have possibly avoided this tragedy. I pray that the University of Washington is not making this same mistake.

What relation does this incident have to the Virginia Tech shooting? The ONLY obvious connection is that the perpetrator of the shooting is Asian - are you suggesting that due to Jarred's Asian background that he is prone to be a mass murderer?

Jarred's so-called "martial arts training" is in *performance* martial arts (such as lion dance), which has little to no relevance to actual combat.

A last comment:

$75,000 for defense. Wow, our own Northwest “Affluenza”. Not letting your kid face the consequences of their behavior dishonors our community, your family and, most importantly, your child.

OJ Simpson bought and paid for his "innocent" verdict. No big surprised that Jarred Ha's father was able to do the same thing for him.

How about whites stop acting like they are above the law? Reminds me of all those cases of lynching, massacring, and driving out Chinese men from the West Coast, and in Washington state.

Seems that the children of the murderers of old, such as Graham, don't fall far from the tree. Even the white women believe Asian men are second class citizens who should be killed and lynched.

"Many whites FEEL as though... the Chinese as racially inferior "semislaves" who were unable to assimilate into the American way of life"

"Ha claimed the women attacked him, and when he defended himself, Harper assaulted him." He claims self defense against the girls too?! I've seen pictures of the girl with the black eye and it looks like something I would expect to see out of the 50s. I'm no feminist, but a 5'7 male should not have to punch and beat a 5'3 girl to adequately defend himself even if she IS the aggressor. If a small drunk girl gets mad at tries to hit you, need you do anything else but grab her hands and tell her to stop? Or is it now acceptable in 2016 to just beat up small drunk girls because they "started it?"

There were 4-5 women involved in the fight (by Jarred's account) and even by Graham's account there were at least 2.

The women are also members of the UW rugby team so they are also likely much stronger than your typical "small drunk girl".

This story is awful! So scary knowing someone like this is on my campus!

As a UW alumn, I find this horrific. AND, as a potential future parent of a UW student, I can't even imagine what Harper's parents are going through. There is no way I would be ok with my child being on campus with Ha, let alone sitting next to him in a classroom or, even worse, working together alone on a project. Ha's weapon and his actions with that weapon are just disgusting. The fact that you have to knowingly disengage with each use just sickens me. Please do not let this man back on campus. He is clearly not a stable human being.

Some additional food for thought. Most people are not familiar with how dangerous knives are. If you aren't, substitute the word "gun" for knife and see how you feel about Ha carrying a knife on campus.

Some facts: (read "never bring a gun to a knife fight") many weapons experts consider a knife MORE dangerous than a gun: They have no line of fire - bullets statistically miss, but in the hands of an expert (like Ha) a knife does not. Knives don't run out of ammo. You can be stabbed repeatedly in SECONDS (like Harper). Knives give no warning "many victims ...claim they didn't know they were stabbed until it was too late. (Harper and witnesses say they had NO idea until they saw the blood draining from his body. All he had time to say was "something's wrong call 911 before collapsing).

Watch the You Tube video "How Deadly is the Karambit". This is the knife Ha used. Look at your body and think about a 2.25" inch razor sharp HOOKED blade going all the way in - slicing you and stabbing you. Look at this knife online: It has finger holes so the person doesn't lose their grip when it gets bloody. It has a mechanism so it comes out open and ready. The assaulter must UNHOOK it from the flesh before the next assault. Given the symmetry of Harper's injuries Ha knew exactly how to inflict the greatest harm in a small amount of time. He left him bleeding out and ran away.

Read research (a bit old - 2008 Lauden, U of Texas). There are approximately 11,000 false convictions each year (tragic). There are 93,000 false acquittals each year. As the saying goes "better a 100 guilty men go free..." But don't be naive folks.

The Times did this community a huge disservice. Even Ha isn't helped by their printing his fiction. He would have been better off to take his lucky win and go quietly on his way.

It troubles me that he is in class with students. Why the U rushed to re-admit is crazy: he admitted to carrying a knife on campus on the witness stand. There's another guy on campus who wants people to be allowed to carry concealed hand guns and people think he's crazy. Here's a guy who is already carrying a deadly weapon. Why people don't connect the dots is mind blowing.

Ha carries lethal knives and knows how to use them as he has proved the way he carved Harper. He is abusive to women. Ha is a huge safety risk to the UW community. I consider him a threat and would feel very uncomfortable having him on campus. I would not associate with Ha and would go out of my way to stay clear of him.

I had accounting with Jarred last year before all this happened. He seemed so nice in class, I even kind of had a small crush on him. Then later in the quarter I saw him at a party. After talking for awhile he was very drunk and was pretty forward. When I said I had a boyfriend (I didn't, but didn't know what else to say) he got really angry for no reason and kind of flipped out. I just kind of thought he was drunk and didn't think much about it (besides me feeling super awkward both at the party and then in class). It also irked me and my friend that he carries a knife everywhere---even on campus?! The whole thing is weird, but I can officially say that small crush is gone.

There’s many things I don’t understand. Ha had to attend mandatory alcohol classes despite his being sober? On what basis did the UW made that decision? That’s either unfair or maybe they know something we don’t and can’t say because of FERPA?

On the other hand, I’m looking at these other things Ha has stated to the press. Seems he’s getting caught in some lies. Ha should have said he was drunk! Assaulting women then viciously slicing and dicing the guy who tried to help them screams “I’m unable to control myself sober!” I wish a psychologist would weigh in cuz I’m curious about what this means from that perspective. Why go for a guy’s privates? Why didn’t he call out for help when these women (who he knew?!) were supposedly attacking him. (BTW – how many educated college athletes (on scholarship?) decide to beat up a friend out of the blue? (C’mon… this wasn’t some biker bar! Was he telling their secrets to the feds?)

This situation is incredibly sad for both Jarred Ha and Graham Harper. Though I'm sorry for anyone who has missed judged Jarred Ha because of it. I recently met Jarred at the beginning of this quarter and as a girl, I feel completely safe not only sitting next to him in class but also spending extra time outside of class studying for exams and working on HW problems with him. And I truly appreciate him as a classmate and as a friend.

Just saying, for anyone who feels "uncomfortable" with him on campus...If you knew the whole story and were to have one conversation with Jarred, I'm nearly 100% positive that you would feel the same way I do.

Accounting Squad - There is no way I believe this was written by a woman in Foster. No professional woman would refer to herself as a "girl". I believe this was written by a man who has little to no respect for women...

Really - you have *never* heard a college-aged female refer to herself as a girl? I hear it all the time from women as old as mid-to-late 20s.

I hear that Ted Bundy was also very charming.

Speaking for a group of us, we are sickened that anyone would question the severity of Graham's stabs and slashes. Last year Graham participated in a philanthropy where he had to wear a skimpy bathing suit. (He raised a lot of money for the charity, BTW! :-) ) Hundreds of us saw these castration attempt scars, and the one that runs down his leg, and the huge holes where his intestines stuck out. They were a big topic among many of us for a long time. I will never forget what I saw. Some of my friends teared up and some of the guys went pale.

And we agree with the woman below - as women we feel very uncomfortable with Ha sitting next to us in class.

Let me get this straight: Jarred Ha attacks a woman, and when someone comes to her defense he tries to castrate and kill that person. You can’t instigate a fight, and then when you are losing use deadly force and claim self-defense (though that worked for Travon Martin’s killer). Ha started this whole chain of events. Furthermore, the type of stab wounds and damage that he inflicted show that this was *not* self-defense but a vicious counter-attack. It is a miracle that Harper wasn’t killed; instead he is maimed for life. I cannot believe that Ha was acquitted – clearly he had the best lawyer that money can buy. I do not understand all this sympathy for Jarred Ha – he is not the victim. The UW was right to suspend him. As a woman I do not feel safe with him on campus.

No, Jarred Ha defended himself against several female rugby players who were beating him up while he tried to get away, then was chased down by as "man" who had more than 100 pounds on him, then had to defend his life because the roided up -sshole misjudged the situation and tried to take 'justice' into his own hands.

Add in a splash of white supremacy, and racial targeting of Asian men, which has a LONG HISTORY in Washington state and throughout the USA, and you have THIS CASE.

Long history I refer to:,blogs,forums/anti-Chinese-persecution-in-the-USA-history-timeline.htm

@ "Dubz": You must be kidding right? I'd like to think your comments are only empty conjecture, though it certainly appears as if you have alternative priorities to say the least.

From my understanding, it sounds like at best--at best--you have and are conveying partial information. From the record, the unaffiliated witness clearly backed off the statement supporting Ha's version upon cross. It goes on to note that while acquitted, the jury still found Ha in fact committed unlawful violence against one of the two women victims.

Further, have you yourself seen these wounds described here as massive? I understand that both the medical and legal community weighed in with their first hand assessments of the wounds and found them to be what you are terming as 'targeted'. So it sounds like they have actually seen them and you have not; leaving your comment as not much more than empty conjecture.

Do you have a link to the court record? I would be very interested in reading it.

Where have you seen that the unaffiliated witness backed off? I read numerous news reports on this incident and not one has mentioned anything of the sort.

If you would like to know the ACTUAL truth in this incident you should go to the Seattle Police Department website and read the police report. If this link doesn't work you can sign in and use the GO#2015-27322. Ha claims that he was attacked by 4 female rugby players that instigated this whole incident. Yet his statement in the police report is "he and the female were arguing and he started backing away from the situation when the female fell to the ground". The second female stated she saw the first female and Ha in an argument and that "Ha punched her in the face, after he punched her in the face; he picked her up and slammed her to the ground". He then turned on the second female and hit her in the face causing a black eye. Graham witnessed this and that is why he was defending them. Ha also stated in the report that "After pulling out the knife he does not remember what happened after that." NOT what he testified to in court! Ha has committed HUGE perjury in this case and should consider himself VERY lucky that the King County Prosecutors office failed to convict him of this heinous crime. But instead he continues to spew more lies to try to win sympathy. To call the wounds that Ha inflicted on Graham "stab wounds" is far from reality. What Graham suffered were very calculated SLASH wounds from Ha who used an assault knife and knew exactly what he was doing. Why wouldn't they allow photos of Graham and the females injuries to be printed in these stories? I am appalled that the University would allow Ha anywhere on campus. No female or male for that matter should feel safe around him. Just once I wish that The Daily or the Seattle Times would do their research before printing so many lies. By doing so they are disgracing the true victims, Graham and the two females assaulted by Ha. Poor Ha wants his life back? Grahams life will never be the same. Ha's life should have been spent behind bars.

Police reports are not objective truth. That is why we have courts, judges, juries, and executioners - to get as close to that truth as possible, and act on it. At the end of the day, the account in the police report is invalidated by the jury. Policy and procedure must be built on that. You are welcome to your opinions, however.

The "affiliated" witnesses in this case were Jarred Ha's own neighbor and the friends he had been drinking with that night. One of the "unaffiliated" witnesses admitted in court that he was too far away to see anything and made assumptions based on what he heard. In fact, these "witnesses" were originally interviewed and dismissed by the police because they did not provide relevant information. I believe these two people were put back in play by Ha’s attorney for obvious reasons. Ha did not wave the knife around in an attempt to intimidate anyone. In fact, the actuall witnesses didn't even know a knife was involved until Harper was on the ground with his intestines hanging out.

A few points:

Brandishing the Knife:
Of course the knife wasn't visible to anyone (likely even Graham), it was night time and both men were engaged in a brawl against parked cars. He would never have had an opportunity to "wave the knife around"
Regardless of how likely/unlikely it was that Graham would have seen the knife, I doubt that Ha's intent was never to kill or castrate, but simply to defend himself.

Credibility of Witnesses:
The witnesses"...testified that one of the women instigated the initial fight, punching Ha in the head in an attack that other young women then joined in." (

Certainly we should consider the biases of the affiliated witnesses, but the unaffiliated witnesses' testimony can be weighed more heavily. There were two of them. You state that only one of them stated that they were too removed from the situation, yet make no mention of the other. I have not come across any records from the court proceedings myself, but based on what I've read and what you've told me, it seems that the other witness sides with Ha's story. That and all the other accounts swayed the entire jury.

Finally the point about the police initially dismissing the witnesses... We would have a fundamentally different judicial system if police forces could be expected to gather all necessary testimony at any scene. They simply don't know which details would become pertinent in court proceedings.

That was simply the most explicit. Both have been discredited.

And you might have a point regarding process, except that again you leave out the obvious: suppressio veri. Both in the case of Ha and with his lawyer whom has recently been disciplined by the 9th Federal Circuit for similar antics in the courtroom.

Again, you are not this simple, ergo you know what's happening.

I feel that this article does a pretty fair job of addressing the situation in light of the court ruling, instead of addressing things in spite of it. The article makes no stance in regard to questions of character or the truth of events, but rather focuses on matters of policy and individual feelings towards the matter. I like that!

I feel that ASUW is acting similarly, and calling the University out for a knee-jerk reaction that leaned towards holding Ha as guilty until proven innocent. I am glad that they are using this case as a foundation to protect students in the future.

I've also been following the case for some time now. This article doesn't bring up the reasoning behind the jury's decision, but, due to the comments I have seen here, I feel like I could lend another perspective. The decision essentially boiled down to two points. One: Ha's version of events was corroborated by two unaffiliated witnesses, and Two: Harper's blood alcohol content was 0.13%, well above the legal limit for a 19 year-old.

Ha had indicated that, after having his head slammed into a car several times, he resorted to the use of a weapon, hoping that the sight alone would deter Harper. Clearly Harper did not see the weapon, or he did and it did not deter him. Scuffles like this hardly ever involve targeted strikes, and I feel that Graham's statement that Ha was trying to castrate and murder him is a great legal position to take, but ultimately unlikely to be true.

A quote that I quite liked from a juror goes, “It was unfortunate Graham had so much physical capability and that Jarred had a weapon.” Young men, alcohol, tempers, weapons... Nobody won here. The best we can do as a community is move past it and heal.

From my understanding, it sounds like at best you have and are conveying partial information. From the record, the unaffiliated witness clearly backed off the statement supporting Ha's version upon cross. It goes on to note that while acquitted, the jury still found Ha in fact committed unlawful violence against one of the two women victims.

Further, have you yourself seen these wounds described here as massive? I understand that both the medical and legal community weighed in with their first hand assessments of the wounds and found them to be what you are terming as 'targeted'. So it sounds like they have actually seen them and you have not; leaving your comment as not much more than empty conjecture.

I will admit, that I have not read or heard account of the court proceedings, aside from what has been reported in the times. This is twice now that someone has indicated that one or more of the witnesses backed off their statement. I believe you, but I would still be interested in the source. Is it something you can link to me?

That said it's also news to me that a wound can be indicated as having been targeted upon examination. Once again, I believe you, and I would be interested in a source.

I have been reading about and watching this case for some time. Jarred Ha attacked a woman neighbor (he knew) in the street that evening because of the way she had parked her car. When two women friends he had spent the evening drinking with tried to stop him, he attacked them. When Harper intervened, Ha responded with deadly force using a karambit knife, which is meant to inflict maximum damage. The article makes Ha appear to be in the victim in this scenario. He is not. In fact, if Harper had died, Ha would have been charged with murder. If not for the $75,000 Ha says his father spent on his case, he would have been convicted of his crimes. The UW was not rash in suspending him and I think the ASUW has lost site of the forest for the tree. We should all be concerned about what might happen the next time this young man's temper gets the better of him.

Carving, trying to castrate, and stabbing someone 6 times is not self-defense. Why would anyone think that's OK?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.