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UCA student arrested for hazing, felony battery

Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at UCA linked to hazing

Posted: March 6, 2014 - 7:31pm

An alleged hazing incident at the University of Central Arkansas involving the Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity has resulted in the arrest of student Isaiah Christopher Ozuna, 22.

Ozuna faces one second-degree felony battery charge and four misdemeanor counts for hazing.

He is the suspect listed on a University of Central Arkansas police report, which includes four victims whose names have been redacted.

One victim who spoke to police and is listed as receiving a “major injury” said he was physically assaulted numerous times as part of the pledging process for Kappa Alpha Psi.

The victim told police he was slapped in the face, struck with a paddle numerous times, and was made to kneel on uncooked rice while being hit with raw eggs.

According to the prosecutor’s affidavit, the victim who gave the account to police said he and his “line brothers” were called by Ozuna, who he said is the dean of pledges, and told to go to the “set house,” which the victim said is the “place where you get paddled.”

The house is in Conway on Krystal Kreek Drive, according to the victim.

The victim said Ozuna told them he was angry because one of the pledges hadn’t shown up last week for “set.”

He and the others were told to get into the position to be paddled.

He said he was paddled four times in a row by Ozuna, hit with raw eggs, paddled a few more times and slapped in the face.

Conway police arrived at the residence for a report of a noise complaint, and the hazing ended, the victim said.

The victim added that during the fraternity interest meeting he was told victims of hazing who reported it could be punished by “Kappa law.”

Police noted the victim had whelps and red and purple bruises on his buttocks and appeared to be in a lot of pain.

Photographs were taken of his injuries, and he was sent to receive medical attention.

Police spoke to other pledges who are listed as victims who corroborated the first victim’s account to varying degrees.

One was reluctant to provide a statement about the incident, according to the UCA Police Department investigator.

Contacted by telephone Thursday, Ozuna said he did not wish to provide a comment on the incident.

The Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi was placed on suspension Thursday by the Office of Greek Life, said UCA spokeswoman Fredricka Sharkey.

Sharkey said the university will investigate the incident and determine if the fraternity is allowed back on campus.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated may make its own determination about whether the chapter is allowed to operate, she said.

All chapter activity stops under a cease and desist order until the investigation is complete.

Sharkey added that all Greek participants at UCA sign a no-hazing pledge and attend training sessions about hazing prior to membership intake.

Hazing, defined by Arkansas Code 6-5-201, is the act of causing physical harm, shame or disgrace upon another student.

The definition includes threatening, physical violence, ostracism and shame inflicted on a student in connection with initiation into an organization, extracurricular activity or sports program.

The student faces the possibility of expulsion from UCA for violation of the state hazing statute in addition to the penalties for felony battery and hazing.

In 2012, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at Arkansas Tech University was suspended in connection with a hazing incident that caused one student to be hospitalized.

Two implicated in the Russellville hazing were UCA students the semester before the incident, The Courier News reported.

The newspaper reported the victim injured in the incident had been beaten on his backside and as a result of his injuries was placed in critical care.

He was in a coma for part of his several-week hospital stay.

A felony battery charge was also issued in connection with the incident in Russellville.

An email message seeking comment sent Thursday afternoon to Charles Carter, who is listed as the fraternity president at UCA, was not returned by press time Thursday.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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