CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) – Several members of the California University of Pennsylvania football team have been arrested and charged in connection with a violent incident in California Borough, Washington County.
Police say they beat and stomped a man outside an off-campus restaurant, then fled yelling “Football strong!” The victim was in intensive care Friday with severe brain trauma.
A witness tells KDKA the players jumped another man outside the restaurant, and beat him up. KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti reports sources say the victim was stomped on until he lost consciousness.
The victim, identified as 30-year-old Lewis Campbell, was flown to Allegheny General Hospital, where he remains in the ICU with a severe brain injury.
The five players arrested have been identified as James Williamson, Corey Ford, Jonathan Barlow, Rodney Gillin, and D’Andre Dunkley.
Jeff Shuman, who owns Spuds, said he didn’t know anything was going on outside his Wood Street restaurant until he saw police cars pulling up outside around 2 a.m.
He said the victim was lying on the ground unconscious, and the alleged attackers had all left in a car by the time police arrived.
The five suspects have been charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment, and conspiracy.
They’re in the Washington County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
The University also announced that Saturday’s game against Gannon University has been cancelled.
Cal U student Fabian Bagdes reacted to the attack, calling it “terrible, and it looks bad on our school.”
Another student, Michael Brunson, said the incident was unfortunate, adding, “There’s a lot of good people on the football team,” and for the school to cancel this weekend’s home football game is punishing the entire team and student body, but “it was definitely a small decision to cancel the game.”
Interim University President Geraldine M. Jones issued this statement:
“California University does not tolerate violent behavior, and the five student-athletes charged in connection with this incident will face University sanctions, along with any penalties imposed by law.
“The police investigation is continuing, and the rights of these accused students will be upheld. But in light of these allegations, I asked Coach Kellar to cancel Saturday’s game. Behavior has consequences, and all Cal U students, including student-athletes, must abide by our Student Code of Conduct if they wish to remain a part of our campus community.
“At the same time, it must be clearly understood that the actions of a small group of individuals are not representative of our entire student body, nor of all Cal U student-athletes. I ask our entire campus community to recommit to our University’s core values, and to demonstrate through their words and their actions the best that our University can be.
“Our hearts and our prayers go out to the victim, his family and his friends. All else pales in comparison.”
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