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Four more UCA students arrested for hazing

UCA Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity involved in hazing

Posted: March 7, 2014 - 3:00pm
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Rico Spears
Rico Spears

Final p.m. update: 

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 of Little Rock; Deven Dyer of Jacksonville; Kevin Nguyen of Maumelle; and Rico Spears 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. 

 

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University of Central Arkansas Police Department spokesman Arch Jones said at 4:40 p.m. Friday all four additional suspects are in custody. 

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The four Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members at the University of Central Arkansas being sought by police for their alleged involvement in hazing are Rico Spears, Kevin Nguyen, Deven Dyer, and Blake Battles, according to prosecutor information filed Friday.

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Four additional subjects involved in alleged hazing within the Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity are being sought by the University of Central Arkansas police, according to UCA Police Department spokesman Arch Jones. 

Jones did not release the four subjects' names, but said they are all UCA students and members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. 

Jones said as a result of UCAPD's ongoing investigation, detectives have filed affidavits and obtained warrants for the arrest of the four individuals who have been implicated as being involved in the hazing incident that resulted in the arrest of another student, Isaiah Christopher Ozuna, on Wednesday. 

"From the time this incident was reported, the suspect was in custody within five hours. We take hazing very seriously. It's not going to be tolerated on our campus," said Jones. "It's a concern and has no place on a college campus."

Warrants for the students' arrests include four misdemeanor hazing charges each.  

A victim who came forward to police with injuries said he and other pledges were made to kneel on uncooked rice while being paddled and hit with raw eggs.   

The condition of the student who came forward could not be released by Jones, who said FERPA protected student information.   

A student who received similar injuries in a Kappa Alpha Psi hazing in 2012 at Arkansas Tech University was hospitalized in a brief coma.   

Ozuna, who the victim said is the fraternity's dean of pledges, faces four misdemeanor hazing counts and a felony battery count.  

The University of Central Arkansas Office of Greek Life suspended the fraternity Thursday.  

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conwaytwt
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conwaytwt 03/11/14 - 09:53 am
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Language suggestion

I recognize that the reporter may have been quoting the wording of the police report. However, for future reference, "whelps" are puppies. I think the injuries on the victim were probably "welts."

Budnmud
22519
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Budnmud 03/11/14 - 10:09 am
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Not Whelps

Those are not Whelps on my leg.... those are my cats.....

Courtney Spradlin
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Courtney Spradlin 03/11/14 - 10:55 am
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Thanks for letting me know.

Thanks for letting me know. Someone else pointed that out and I hadn't changed it yet. Whelp and welt - I don't ever use them.

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