Police arrest two at Phi Tau

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December 5, 2007

7:29 PM

p. Friday night proved to be more than an average evening of dancing and fun on fraternity row.

p. Around 1:30 a.m., a fight broke out on the dance floor of Unit D during Phi Kappa Tau’s “Naughty or Nice” dance party, resulting in the arrest of two individuals.

p. According to the police report, Campus Police were in the midst of routine rounds at Unit D, where Phi Tau is located, when an officer heard shouts of “fight, fight.” The officer entered the unit, observed multiple skirmishes and called for backup. Further details of the incident were withheld due to a pending investigation by Campus Police.

p. “There was a police officer doing a walkthrough while the incident happened,” Phi Tau President Sammy Hamididdin ’09 said. “Who knows what kind of level of escalation the fight could have gotten to? Who else could have been involved, and how many more potential injuries could have resulted? The William and Mary police handled the situation as best they could.”

p. Numerous witnesses said that pepper spray was used by Williamsburg police officers, who responded to Campus Police’s call for backup.

p. “The Williamsburg police did not really seem to have a handle on things,” Hamididdin said. “They pepper-sprayed the entire area, spraying non-combatants as well as combatants directly. They also detained a [Phi Kappa] Tau brother for obstruction of justice for what appeared to be no real reason.”

p. After police assumed control of the situation, Andrew Brown, 19, of Virginia Beach and DeBrian Holmes ’08, 22, were arrested. Brown, who is not a student, was charged with disorderly conduct, being drunk in public and underage possession of alcohol.

p. Holmes, the starting running back of the football team, was charged with assault and battery. Holmes is accused of punching one of the non-students and knocking out a tooth.

p. Rumors concerning the extent of the altercation varied throughout the night. Speculation as to the severity of the matter was heightened by the administration’s decision to cancel events scheduled for Saturday night on fraternity row.

p. “We wanted to make sure that any problems from the night before did not carry over,” Campus Police Chief Donald Challis said. “The incident involved some off-campus people, and we sought to minimize the risk to William and Mary students. This was not about showing up the fraternities.”

p. A dance party planned by Theta Delta Chi for Saturday night was one of the events canceled. In a message posted on the party’s event site on Facebook, Theta Delta Chi cited cancellation “per instructions of [Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs] Mark Constantine and Campus Police.”

p. “I’ve been here 10 years now, and this is the first time that I can recall that we actually canceled an event because of an incident on campus,” Constantine said.

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