Students hurt in brawl

By Nick Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Shot fired, students hospitalized after assault at Halloween party

Two UA students received treatment at University Medical Center after they were assaulted at a Halloween party Monday night.

The incident occurred at a party at the 700 block of East Speedway Boulevard in the home of UA students Scott Lykke, Chris McCormick, Mike Schapker, Henry Schwartz, and Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter Ross Hager.

More than 75 people were at the party when a group of about seven men showed up around 12:30 a.m. and began stealing items from the house, said McCormick, a pre-communication junior.

McCormick said he did not know who the men were, and they did not appear to be UA students.

"No one could recognize them individually by the way they looked, it happened so fast," McCormick said.

McCormick said he confronted one of the men, who was attempting to steal a neon sign, and he was hit in the back of the head.

When the attacks began, partygoers rushed to flee the house, leaving pieces of Halloween costumes on the ground, McCormick said.

"There was a really frantic feel," he said.

Schwartz said he didn't know what was going on throughout the entire incident and considered it to be a random act of violence.

Jason Hewitt, a chemistry sophomore and friend of the students hosting the party, said he was hit in the face with a liquor bottle and saw other partygoers get attacked.

"I turned around and I saw this kid getting pistol-whipped," Hewitt said.

When the seven attackers left the house, a man brandishing a gun fired a shot into the air, McCormick said.

"They yelled 'east side' before leaving and then fired the gun," McCormick said.

Two TVs, a pingpong table and a neon sign were damaged and an iPod and pair of sunglasses were also missing after the men left, McCormick said.

Officers from the Tucson Police Department arrived on the scene shortly after the shot was fired, said Schwartz, a philosophy junior.

Both TPD public information officers and officers at the scene were unavailable for comment yesterday.

After police arrived, Schwartz said the officers dispatched an ambulance to the house to take him to the hospital, where he received five stitches on his forehead and four staples in the back of his skull to fix cuts from four liquor bottles that were broken over his head.

"It happened so fast," Schwartz said, adding that his attacker smashed the bottles over his head when he wasn't looking. "First I was thinking about trying to fight back, then I realized I needed to get to the hospital."

Once the gun went off, he said he was even more concerned for his safety.

"I realized I could have been shot," Schwartz said.

In addition to being hit in the head with liquor bottles, Hewitt said he was also hit in the chest with a pipe and only remembered one of the assailants.

"I just remember the main guy," Hewitt said. "He was 5-10, 5-11. Short, Mexican, in his late 20s with sunken eyes."

The residents of the house said while some of the assailants appeared to be Mexican-American, some also appeared to be white and black.

Hewitt said his friends took him to the hospital after the attack. He received five stitches in his chin and had his nose glued back into place. After noticing a bruise on his chest, Hewitt said he may go back to the hospital for X-rays.

University Medical Center staff could not release any information about the students who were treated due to privacy issues.

The Wildcat is in the process of obtaining an official police report from TPD.

- Claire C. Laurence contributed to this article.