Fight investigation continues

By Jami Peterson

The details surrounding two fights between members of the NIU football team and the Sigma Chi fraternity last week still are foggy.

DeKalb Police and the University Judicial Office continue to investigate the brawl which occurred on Jan. 29 at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, 910 W. Hillcrest Drive, during one of the fraternity’s after hours parties.

DeKalb Police Officer James Spartz said the police have seven suspects, all of which are members of the NIU football team. All of the victims in the case are members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Spartz said he could not release all of the information surrounding the case because it is still under investigation. He did say, however, the first fight began at the after hours party and a second fight snowballed when seven members of the NIU football team returned to the party.

Spartz said he had hoped to resolve the case by Monday. “I’m having a little trouble contacting all of the people involved to get their stories straight,” he said. “I’ve gotten little to nothing done all weekend.”

Spartz said he plans to continue interviewing suspects and people involved with the fight. The gathered information then will be brought to the city attorney’s office where charges will be determined. Fraternity members probably will not be charged in the fight, he said.

“I hope to have it hashed out by the end of this week,” he said.

The investigation began when a fraternity member called the DeKalb Police at 4:11 a.m. on Jan. 29 to report the fight.

According to DeKalb Police reports, several white male subjects, apparently from the NIU football team, attempted to gain entry to the Sigma Chi party. Upon being told it was a private party, they became angry and began damaging vehicles, police said.

The reports stated that a battery and criminal damage to property at the Sigma Chi house also were reported on Jan. 29. Two related accounts of criminal damage involving two cars parked at the Sigma Chi house also were reported. Damage to the two cars totalled $595.

Larry Bolles, director of the University Judicial Office, said he has interviewed all of the people involved in the case and is waiting for the fraternity to file an official complaint.

“The fraternity complaint is for restitution for the damage to their house,” he said.

The fraternity was supposed to file a complaint Monday concerning some damage to their house, including a door and stereo. However, the complaint has not been filed. Bolles said he plans to give the fraternity a couple more days to file.

Bolles said at least two people involved in the case, including a student who had been punched in the nose and one whose car was vandalized, also plan to file criminal charges through the DeKalb Police.

The case should be resolved and sanctions should be imposed through the Judicial Office by Thursday, he said. Sanctions could include anything from a letter of warning to a suspension. However, Bolles said suspension and expulsion sanctions are unlikely. “Anybody who went out with the group to start a fight will be held accountable for damage.”