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UA student arrested for assault in water balloon prank

By Irene Hsiao
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 6, 2000
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SAS camp-out interrupted, fight breaks out

A UA student was arrested after a scuffle broke out early yesterday morning when some UA students threw water balloons at Students Against Sweatshops members who were camping on the lawn in front of the Administration building

Sam Buzuleciu, a political science sophomore, was arrested at 2:45 a.m. yesterday for assault and disorderly conduct, said UAPD Cmdr. Brian Seastone.

After a water balloon struck one SAS member, Buzuleciu said the man chased after him and then hit him several times.

The UA SAS group spent three days and two nights camped out on the lawn of the Administration building promoting their "College of Worker Rights" informational forum.

After the water balloon prank, an SAS member called UAPD.

"We found that Sam was surround by a large group of people," Seastone said. "The SAS member reported to us 'he and others were at the SAS camp and they heard a noise.'"

"Next thing, the man was hit in the chest with something moist," Seastone said.

Seastone said the SAS member told police he chased the suspect around the Modern Languages building and then caught him by the Second Street garage.

Buzuleciu told the Arizona Daily Wildcat that he and two other UA students were just "messing around" and they weren't targeting the organization.

"I'm positive it has nothing to do with what they do, or what their cause is," he said.

Buzuleciu said he realizes what he and his friends did was a "bad thing."

"It just seemed like a childish prank and then I got the crap kicked out of me," he said.

"In my opinion, he (the SAS member) didn't do anything wrong."

The two other students ran away when the SAS member caught him, Buzuleciu said.

"I got caught by the kid in SAS, the kid caught me and I said 'OK you got me,'" he said.

Buzuleciu said the SAS member then held him by the throat.

"He tried to head-butt me, punch me, until his friends came over," he said. "Everyone else circled around and stopped him."

Lydia Lester, SAS president and spokeswoman said the SAS member got hurt too.

"He was just trying to get the guy," she said. "I never saw (Buzuleciu) get hit."

"I thought it was unfortunate that these people decided to attack people who were sleeping especially those who are fighting for social justice," said Lester, a linguistics sophomore. "I hope it doesn't get oversensationalized to the point that people don't remember why we're out there."

The SAS member told police eggs were thrown earlier in the evening, Seastone said.

"We got egged, but none of the eggs hit us," Lester said. "As soon as it got quiet, we settled down again and then we got water balloons at us."

She said the three students threw the eggs that "missed by a long shot."

Buzuleciu said he feels badly about the incident.

"It was very random, it had nothing to do with them," Buzuleciu said. "I shouldn't have done it."

Buzuleciu was cited and released, Seastone said.

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