Campus Pointe case wrapping up

Ashley Sepanski

The five charged with disorderly conduct in the Campus Pointe brawl will appear in court early December.

Despite the Portage County Sheriff’s Department’s initial report that the investigation would not yield any charges, footage from a Campus Pointe surveillance tape clearly identified five individuals who participated in the 40-person fight.

The basketball players charged include freshman forwards Robert Johnson, 19, and Darius Leonard, 19, as well as freshman point guard Eric Gaines, 19. Also charged were Raymond Carter, 23, and Darnell Morgan, 29, of Cleveland. The five have a court date set for 8:15 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Portage County Municipal court.

The three basketball members received suspensions from two games: a scrimmage against St. Bonaventure University and an exhibition game against Rochester University, said Alan Ashby, director of Kent State athletic communications.

“We want to put it behind us,” he said.

Ashby said the Athletic Department previously stated no basketball players were involved in the fight because the department’s initial investigation did not indicate members participated.

“We were disappointed to find they did take part in the incident,” Ashby said. “We were disappointed no one came forward on their own.”

Kelly Lewton, director of community operations at Campus Pointe, said although nothing has been finalized, she expected the five charged would be banned from Campus Pointe property.

“We’re pleased Portage County took the time to investigate and that there were charges,” Lewton said. “They were not Campus Pointe residents and this shows that this was an isolated incident. We’re glad it’s over.”

According to a report by Portage County Detective Jim Acklin, three basketball team members stated the Sept. 26 fight that began at Justin Greene’s apartment after Carter threw a bottle at Leonard during a party, but Morgan reported the fight started when someone bumped him and then tried to fight him.

The fight moved from Greene’s apartment to the parking lot where Morgan and Carter hid in a vehicle to avoid being attacked, the report said. Gaines admitted to pounding heavily on the car, but said he did not break out the windows or windshields.

The report said Acklin believed Morgan and Carter started the incident by arriving uninvited at Greene’s.

Doak said Kent State coach Geno Ford as well as Leonard, Johnson and Gaines were cooperative during the investigation.

“We’re ready to wind up and be done with it,” Doak said.