The Collegian

10/13/04 • Vol. 129, No. 22

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Alleged prank ends in student arrests

Women's group starts newsletter

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Alleged prank ends in student arrests

By Chhun Sun

Nine students were arrested on campus Monday on misdemeanor charges following an incident in which a fellow student appeared to have been abducted, campus police said.

The incident turned out to be a prank involving members of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Arrested Students

Nine students associated with Sigma Nu were detained Monday under the suspicion of kidnapping their vice president. Even though campus police treated the incident as an actual kidnapping, they later said it was a result of a bet. Photos by Emily Tuck

At 9:50 a.m., a group of men jumped out of a white Dodge pickup truck and wrestled down a man on the lawn behind Sycamore Hall, one of the dorms. Once duct taped, the man was placed in the bed of the truck, witnesses reported.

The vehicle then raced southbound on Barton Avenue toward Shaw Avenue, weaving through students walking and other vehicles on the road, campus police said. The truck then turned west onto Shaw.

Around 11 a.m., a campus police officer spotted the vehicle near the scene of the incident. Campus police called the Fresno Police, and officers swarmed the truck, with guns drawn, on the frontage road behind the Health Center.

Police arrested six men who were in the truck, and three other suspects were apprehended nearby. The man abducted was released to go to class by the group of men.

Arrested were Raymond Roa, 21; Christian Walker, 18; Chad Endsley, 18; Bernard Tredwell, 18; Parker Mar, 18; Cary Reents, 18; Matthew Bernarth, 20; Eric Hanson, 18; and Gavin Torgerson, 18. Four of the men were handcuffed and were told to lie on the ground, while one sat in a campus police car. The others were told to sit on a curb next to the truck, while a group of about 10 onlookers gathered to watch.

Campus police chief David Huerta said the men involved, including the victim, are associated with Sigma Nu. Huerta said the man abducted is vice president of the fraternity.

According to the fraternity’s Web site, the vice president is Chris Healy.

After being questioned at campus police headquarters, the men were cited for misdemeanor violation of state Education Code 32210, which states: “Any person who willfully disturbs any public school or any public school meeting is guilty of a misdemeanor.” The violation carries a maximum $500 fine per person.

Arrested Students

One of nine students associated with Sigma Nu was arrested and taken to campus police headquarter for questioning.

The incident comes in Sigma Nu’s first semester back from a yearlong sanction. The sanction was the result of an incident in 2003 involving underage drinking, former Greek adviser Connan Campbell told The Collegian in August 2003.

Vice president of student affairs and dean of students Paul Oliaro said “it is hard to tell” whether Sigma Nu would lose its status with the university as a result of Monday’s incident.

“This is bad behavior,” Oliaro said of the incident. “This is incredibly stupid, at best.”

Oliaro said he will continue to investigate the incident.

Sigma Nu president Mason Marin said he could not go into detail about the incident.

“I’m not at liberty to say anything right now,” Marin said. “I don’t have a side of a story to tell.”

Marin said his fraternity will release a statement via e-mail today.

Huerta said Healy made a bet that he would shave his head if Fresno State lost its football game to Texas-El Paso. UTEP won Saturday’s game 24-21.

By Monday morning, Healy had still not shaved his head. Huerta said the kidnapping was a result of Healy not following through on the bet.

“This isn’t a game,” Huerta said. “So many people were affected by what happened. Students were very concerned about someone being abducted. Adult employees working in the area saw this and thought it was a real abduction.”