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Police: assault at Halloween party possibly gang-related

Cassandra Tomlin/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Debris and abandoned Halloween costumes lie in front of a house in the 700 block of East Speedway Boulevard on Nov. 1, the morning after an assault occurred during a Halloween party at the residence.
By Jesse Lewis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
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The assault of two UA students at a Halloween party may have been gang related, according to the Tucson Police Department.

Police released the report for the incident on Sunday, more than three weeks after the incident occurred, and cited clearance from the gang unit as the reason for the delay, according to public information officers.

"There were statements made when the suspects were leaving the house that lead us to believe they may be tied to a gang," said Sgt. Judy Altieri of the TPD gang unit.

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

Schwartz received five stitches in his head and four staples in his skull after four liquor bottles were broken over his head in the attack.

Jason Hewitt, a chemistry sophomore and a friend of the students hosting the party, was also hit in the face with a liquor bottle and received five stitches in his chin and had his nose glued back in place after the incident.

According to McCormick, one of the suspects yelled "east side" and then fired a gun before leaving the scene.

McCormick called police on Nov. 2 and reported finding graffiti on the house, which may have been related to the incident, reports stated.

McCormick told police there was a board with markers for people to write on at the party, and he found several markings on the board similar to statements being shouted by the men who injured his roommate, reports stated.

Because the statements were made when the suspects were leaving the house and the graffiti was found, officers believe that the incident was gang related, Altieri said.

According to the police report, there were three suspects who were allegedly involved in the aggravated assault incident, which happened in the 700 block of East Speedway Boulevard at about 12:17 a.m. on Nov. 1.

Police were sent to the scene after several people in the area told police there was a fight happening at the residence, reports stated.

One resident was pistol-whipped with a handgun, and items were stolen from the house, including an iPod MP3 player.

There were three male suspects in their early 20s who were driving a white, 1980 Buick Regal. One of the men was described as a roughly 5-foot-11-inch, white male with a large build, wearing a blue shirt and blue pants. The other man was described as a thin, white male between 6-feet-2-inches and 6-feet-3-inches and was wearing a blue jump suit, reports stated.

The third suspect was a Hispanic male between 5-feet-10-inches and 6-feet tall, wearing all black clothing.

Witnesses, the next-door neighbors of McCormick, told police that a female friend had immediately transported one of the victims to a hospital, reports stated.

Mark Robinson, public information sergeant for TPD, said the gang unit is investigating the incident, and the graffiti reported is a link to possible gang activity.

"It does not particularly mean the aggravated assault (at the residence) was gang related," Robinson said. "We have to investigate more."

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