West Virginia State Police arrested an additional Alderson Broaddus University student Thursday on an obstruction charge in connection to a group assault at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matthew Gregory and Lt. Douglas Loudin were interviewing Mychael Vantrell Knox, 20, of Virginia Beach, Va. and attempting to serve a search warrant on his cell phone, when he refused to let the officers have it. When Chief Gregory attempted to take Knox's phone, Knox gripped onto it and appeared to be scrolling through files, according to a criminal complaint filed by Sgt. John Wyatt. Knox told the officers that they weren't getting his phone, said the criminal complaint.
Knox is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a misdemeanor obstruction charge and is being held on $5,000 bail. Alderson-Broaddus University officials said Knox's expulsion from the university is imminent.
Buckhannon Police Department have made an arrest in connection with the group assault that took place Sunday morning at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Steven Smith, 19, an ABU student from Virginia Beach, VA was arrested Wednesday. Director of Marketing and Communications Ashley Mittelmeier said Smith was a former ABU football player, who was suspended last semester. He is currently in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail after being arrested and charged with malicious wounding.
Buckhannon Police and State Police were at Alderson Broaddus University Wednesday to obtain statements from students they believe were involved in the incident.
Director of Marketing and Communications Ashley Mittelmeier said ABU isn't aware of any arrests, but said a number of football players have been indefinitely suspended from the team.
Mittelmeier said ABU has a zero-tolerance policy, and will hold its students accountable when the investigation concludes. "If any of our students are found in the investigation to be guilty or who were involved in any way with the incident over the weekend, they will be dealt with," said Mittelmeier.
Mittelmeier said those students could face suspension or expulsion from ABU.
West Virginia Wesleyan College released another statement on Tuesday regarding the group assault that occurred in front of the Kappa Alpha Order House on campus early on Sunday morning. Five or six individuals were hospitalized as a result of this incident.
WVWC officials reported that the incident happened after three students from Alderson Broaddus University were denied access to a campus event at the Kappa Alpha Order House.
Bob Skinner, Wesleyan's vice president for advancement, said that it should be the responsibility of the college to protect the students and not the other way around.
"We want our students to be focused on the challenges in the classroom and opportunities of student life. We certainly don't want them to worry about their own personal campus safety." said Skinner.
Skinner also said that the school works hard to protect the students, but the size and scope of this incident is shocking to staff and students at WVWC.
Here is the updated statement from WVWC:
"West Virginia Wesleyan College continues to work closely with law enforcement officials as they continue their on-going investigation into the March 23 incident that began in the front yard of the Kappa Alpha Order house, which is located adjacent to the campus. From all initial indicators, Wesleyan students acted responsibly and did not provoke the altercation. Their involvement was one of self-defense. The event occurred after a social event concluded at the KA House. We can confirm that several car loads of students from Alderson Broaddus University parked behind McCuskey Hall, where they proceeded to the Kappa Alpha house with a desired objective. Wesleyan students immediately contacted Campus Security and local law enforcement officials. When a Wesleyan student was injured, other Wesleyan students went to his defense and the altercation moved from the front lawn of Kappa Alpha Order to the side lawn of McCuskey Hall. The Wesleyan students who were injured have been released from area hospitals. This is an isolated incident at Wesleyan and campus security and personal safety are always major institutional priorities. The College has a strong campus safety record. We have communicated with all members of the Wesleyan campus community regarding this altercation and have reminded everyone to be vigilant in regards to personal safety. At the same time, we have asked local law enforcement officials and the West Virginia State Police to increase their patrols around the area where the incident occurred."
The Buckhannon Police Department is investigating a group altercation outside of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house at West Virginia Wesleyan College that sent up to 6 people to area hospitals.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said the incident happened at approximately 1:39 a.m. Sunday. As officers arrived at the scene, the fight was breaking up and people were running in different directions. Chief Gregory said 20 or more people from West Virginia Wesleyan College and Alderson Broaddus University were involved in the fight, although he couldn't confirm if any of the people involved were on the ABU football team, as initial reports indicated. A fraternity official told 12 News that an international fraternity representative from the Kappa Alpha Order will be arriving at WVWC Monday to address the fraternity about the altercation.
Chief Gregory said 5 or 6 people involved in the fight received medical treatment for their injuries. One person suffered a broken jaw and was treated at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Another person received a knife wound to his arm and was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon before being transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital for further treatment. Other people had complaints of concussions and minor injuries and were treated at St. Joseph's Hospital, said Chief Gregory.
No arrests have been made at this time, but Chief Gregory said charges could be pending. The Upshur County Sheriff's Department, West Virginia State Police and WVWC Security also assisted at the scene.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact the Buckhannon Police Department at 304-472-5723 or at www.buckhannonpolice.com.
West Virginia Wesleyan College issued a statement about the incident Monday afternoon:
"We are working closely with local law enforcement officials regarding the investigation of the assault of Wesleyan students by a large group of students from another campus. We are asking our students for their assistance in providing any additional information and reminding them to be vigilant when it comes to their own personal safety. Wesleyan is in the process of taking all appropriate legal steps to deny access to our campus to those who have been confirmed as a participant in some way in the altercation and our campus security and local law enforcement friends will increase their patrols of the area to ensure no further incidents occur."
Buckhannon police are investigating an incident that happened at West Virginia Wesleyan College Saturday night.
Officials from the college called it an "apparent group assault" and issued the following statement on Sunday:
"We are still gathering information about an apparent group assault that occurred on the grounds of Wesleyan's campus this weekend. We are working closely with law enforcement officials and following up on the medical conditions of the injured students. The safety and protection of our students are always the highest priority. We are committed to a thorough investigation to ensure that there are no further incidents."
Witnesses said the incident may have involved students from Alderson Broaddus University. School officials have released this statement:
"Alderson Broaddus University is aware that an incident occurred at West Virginia Wesleyan College over the weekend. Our understanding is that the Buckhannon Police Department is working through the details and we will await for information from law enforcement officials."
12News also reached out to the Buckhannon Police Department, whose officers confirmed they are investigating an incident that happened Saturday night, but they would not release any further details at this time.