Off-campus assault ends in arrest

Bo Gemmell

Suspect says it was self defense

Kent City Police arrested a suspect following an off-campus assault early Sunday morning.

Police charged 19-year-old Brandon M. Sams with assault and underage drinking.

The arrest occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on University Drive, which meets East Main Street north of Rockwell Hall.

The criminal case report lists Timothy J. McCauley, freshman psychology major, as the victim.

McCauley said he and a couple friends were dancing at a party when a stranger came up to him and said something McCauley couldn’t understand.

“All of a sudden he punched me and was about to stomp me,” McCauley said. “My friend pulled me out and got me out of there.”

After leaving the party, he said he and his friends were followed. McCauley said a man punched another friend, and then police arrived.

“My lip got busted up and part of my mouth was a little gashed, but I should be fine,” McCauley said.

Sams, who said he is not a Kent State student, said the altercation began when somebody at the party hit him.

“Dude punched me, so I punched him back,” he said. “In my end, it was self defense.”

The alleged assault follows the assault and subsequent death of John T. White, a graduate student at Kent State and Iraq War veteran. White, 28, was assaulted in downtown Kent on Jan. 23 and died about a month later. The suspects in White’s case, 21-year-old Akron natives John H. Ragin Jr. and Hallie E. Nuspl, have pre-trial hearings later this year.

Another Kent State student, 23-year-old Christopher M. Kernich, died Nov. 21 of injuries sustained in a Nov. 15 assault. Adrian A. Barker and Ronald G. Kelly are scheduled to stand trial for Kernich’s murder this spring.

One of McCauley’s concerns was the attack follows two assaults this academic year with suspects who aren’t members of the Kent State community.

“The people who are jumping aren’t even Kent State students,” he said. “They shouldn’t have been here.”

Kent City Police had no comment.

Contact public affairs reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].