• Comment

Four more arrested for hazing at UCA

Posted: March 7, 2014 - 7:07pm

University of Central Arkansas police have now arrested five Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members for alleged hazing.

Four more students were arrested Friday in addition to the arrest Thursday of Isaiah Christopher Ozuna, 22, of Conway, who the reporting victim said is the Kappa Alpha Psi Iota Gamma chapter dean of pledges.

The four student arrests made by University of Central Arkansas Police Department Friday were: Blake Battles, 21, of Little Rock; Deven Dyer, 22, of Jacksonville; Kevin Nguyen, 22, of Maumelle; and Rico Spears, 22, of Conway.

The five arrests are the result of alleged hazing the victim said is part of the pledging process for the fraternity.

According to prosecutor information obtained from UCAPD investigators, the victim who spoke to police said he was injured by Ozuna.

In the investigator’s report, the victim’s injuries are described as whelps and red and purple bruises on his buttocks.

The officer noted the victim’s injuries were photographed and he was sent to receive medical attention.

The condition of the victim was not available from the university due to a privacy act that protects students, said Arch Jones, UCAPD spokesman, but the report states he received a “major injury.”

The victim’s injuries are similar to those inflicted on a student at Arkansas Tech University in 2012 in a hazing incident that also involved Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. The incident resulted in a felony battery charge, and the victim was hospitalized in a coma for a brief time, the Courier News in Russellville reported.

Two implicated in the Russellville hazing were UCA students the semester before the incident, the newspaper reported.

Ozuna faces four counts of hazing, class B misdemeanors, and one count of felony second-degree battery.

Dyer, Nguyen, Spears and Battles are cited with four hazing counts each, all misdemeanors.

According to the investigator’s notes provided to prosecutors, the victim who reported the incident and identified Ozuna to police also identified the four who were arrested Friday.

The victim told police none of the four hit him, but that they were in the room when the alleged hazing occurred.

He told police Battles, Dyer and Nguyen were at every “set,” or paddling, and that Spears had only been to one previous meeting.

He said Battles asked him if he was O.K., but did not do anything to stop what was happening.

Earlier in the investigation, Battles and Spears told police they were not present for the incident. Battles told police he and Dyer were playing video games, and Spears said he was “with a girl,” according to the report.

According to the prosecutor’s information, the victim who gave the account to police said he and his “line brothers,” or pledges, went to a residence on Krystal Kreek Drive Tuesday called the “set house,” to be paddled as part of the fraternity’s initiation.

The victim told police earlier in a fraternity interest meeting, he was told victims of hazing who reported it could be punished by “Kappa law.”

The Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi was placed on suspension Thursday by the Office of Greek Life.

University spokeswoman Fredricka Sharkey said previously an investigation will continue to determine if the chapter is allowed to operate at UCA.

Jones said after warrants were issued for the additional arrests Friday, “From the time this incident was reported, [Ozuna] was in custody within five hours. We take hazing very seriously. It’s not going to be tolerated on our campus. It’s a concern and has no place on a college campus.”

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said Friday hazing is a serious offense, and that his office has “sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of these charges.”

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated did not return emails or telephone messages seeking comment Thursday and Friday.

(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)

  • Comment