Allegheny student arrested for alleged assault

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An Allegheny College student was arrested by the Meadville Police Department on Thursday, April 11, for his alleged role in an assault at Julian’s Bar and Grille.

Interim Director of Public Safety William Merchbaker removed the former student, ’21, from a philosophy class on Thursday, April 11. Kristin Dukes, dean for institutional diversity and April Thompson, dean of students, confirmed this removal during a community forum held on Friday, April 12, in the Henderson Campus Center.

The former student was arraigned April 11 before Magisterial District Judge Samuel Pendolino.

While Officer Jared Frum was on duty Sunday, April 7, near the Academy Theatre on Chestnut Street, he stopped his cruiser and was approached by four males; two were carrying an Allegheny alumnus, ’17, whose left eye was swollen shut, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. The accompanying criminal complaint reports the alleged assault occurred between 1 and 1:28 a.m.

“I think he was assaulted,” one of the men told Frum, according to the affidavit.

The men told Frum the alumnus was “wrongfully being accused” of “drugging” a female the night of Friday, April 5, and that he was threatened “earlier in the day” on Saturday by a male. In the affidavit, Frum said Meadville city police were called to Julian’s on Friday because of an “unconscious female in the bathroom.”

The alumnus was taken to Meadville Medical Center. When Frum arrived at the hospital to ask him about the incident, the alumnus said he did not remember being punched, according to the affidavit. His friends said they did not see the assault occur but picked him up from the ground and carried their friend outside.

The alumnus was later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie where he had emergency surgery, reports the affidavit. The man’s mother told Frum in a phone conversation that her son had three plates and 15 pins placed in the left side of his face, according to the affidavit.

On Wednesday, April 10, Frum interviewed a witness at Allegheny’s Office of Public Safety. The witness provided an audio statement and said they were standing in line for the bathroom at Julian’s when “an African-American male approximately six feet tall with braided hair” approached the alumnus, tapped him on the shoulder and punched the left side of his face once.

The witness told Frum the assailant then walked to the Town Tavern side of Julian’s. After “a short time later,” the witness walked into that section of the establishment but did not see the assailant.

One of the men who helped the alumnus from the bar, Evan Haines, ’17, contacted the witness and sent a picture of a “white male and a black male,” according to the affidavit. The witness recognized the white male as Jared Shaw, ’20, and the black male as the former student, according to the affidavit. The witness identified the former student as the male who punched the alumnus. The affidavit reports Haines sent the witness two more pictures — both pictures of the former student.

On Thursday, the former student left class with Merchbaker and was then taken into custody by the Meadville police.

The former student was charged with aggravated assault, a first degree felony; simple assault, a second degree misdemeanor; and harassment and disorderly conduct, both summary offenses. The former student is free on $5,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing before Pendolino is scheduled for Thursday, April, 25.

This article has been updated and the alumnus’s name has been removed in order to protect his identity as he has not been charged with a crime.

Updated: April. 25, 2019, 5:10 p.m.

This article has been updated and the former student’s name has been removed in order to protect his identity as the assault charges have been withdrawn. 

Updated: Sept. 6, 2019, 5 p.m.

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