Alleged force unconfirmed

Andrew Schiller

Kent police officers shot pepper spray or Mace into the Sigma Nu Annex on University Drive during Kent’s Saturday night Halloween celebration, according to eyewitness accounts.

Greg Jarvie, associate vice president and dean of students, said he has heard the police department is conducting an investigation regarding the events.

Both Kent Law Director Jim Silver and Jarvie confirmed there was an incident involving the use of pepper spray pellets. The police did not aim at anyone when firing the pepper spray on University Drive, Silver said.

No one was arrested at the Sigma Nu Annex at 131 University Dr., and police couldn’t confirm an incident occurred on University Drive that night.

Sigma Nu President Jake Myers had no comment, but two other eyewitnesses at the house at the time of the incident, around 1 a.m., gave similar accounts. They asked to remain anonymous.

The witnesses said they were on their porch watching police officers rough up people and partygoers throw beer bottles.

One eyewitness said a man surrendered to the police, and then an officer threw the man over his shoulder, onto the ground and hit him in the head.

After getting people to clear out of the party, the witnesses joined others inside the house, locked the doors and turned off the lights. The music had been turned off, and there hadn’t been a problem at the house all night, one eyewitness said.

Moments later, police officers knocked loudly on a door. No one answered, and then a door was kicked in and pepper spray or Mace was sprayed into the house.

At one point, a witness heard officers yell, “See what happens when you don’t listen? See what happens when you don’t cooperate?”

The other witness heard officers yell something similar.

People climbed the stairs, coughing and vomiting from the fumes, in order to get to the upstairs rooms. One eyewitness said a woman at the house needed to be taken to the hospital.

“We’ve tried to cooperate with the police before and it didn’t work out,” said Ray Campbell, a member of Sigma Nu. “So this time, we were trying to do our best to cooperate with the police without having any direct contact with them, and they took it to us.”

Bryan Pauley, a resident on University Drive, said he saw bottles coming from “the area of the wrestling house and Sigma Nu,” and saw officers gathering there but couldn’t give detail as to what took place after the police assembled.

Contact public affairs reporter Andrew Schiller at [email protected]. Public affairs reporters Tyrel Linkhorn and Amadeus Smith contributed to this report.