Party fight leads to hospital visit
Skyhawk football player implicated; no charges yet filed
Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 21:04
If a UTM student presses charges, a Skyhawk football player may be arrested after a weekend fight involving football players and fraternity members.After interviewing witnesses and the victim shortly after the fight, police named Chidiebere Oteh at fault for sending Paul A. Gatti, 20, a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity, to Volunteer Community Hospital, according to a Martin Police Department report.
Harris was treated and received stitches for a cut above his eye. He was released Saturday morning.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, Jan. 27, police responded to the KA house at 522 Lee St. to interview witnesses, who said some football players, led by Oteh, harassed a small group of KA members after asking the fraternity members to leave a football party at 160 W. Peach St.
KA member James Patrick Duffer, who was present at the fight, said some football players invited the group of KA's to the party. One KA member, Brent Tyler Harris, also is a former football player. Duffer said after they went to the party, a group of football players began hassling KA members and brusquely told them to leave.
"Apparently they got mad because some football players came to one of our parties a while ago and started causing trouble and tearing things up, and we asked them to leave," Duffer said.
Duffer added he speculates Gatti will press assault charges against Oteh, though he had not done so as of press time Monday.
As the group of KA members was leaving the West Peach Street house, Oteh struck Gatti's forehead with his fist, according to witness and police reports. Gatti then sought treatment at the hospital.
Former football player and KA member Harris, 23, was also cited as a victim in a separate scuffle inside the house, but Harris was not injured and said he will not file charges.
"All I'm looking for is an apology from the football players involved," Harris said.
Joe Lofaro, UTM sports information director, said his office has no comment because no charges have yet been filed. But Lofaro did say if Gatti does file charges, the football administrators will impose sanctions after the legal system.
Martin Police Department officials forwarded a report to the Office of Student Affairs and Public Safety.
Police were unsuccessful in making contact with Oteh, but informed Gatti of his right to press charges, the report says.