Fight Breaks Out Homecoming Weekend, Police at the Scene

Caption: Michigan State Police and Albion Public Safety vehicles parked outside of Whitehouse Hall on East Porter St. On Oct. 1, a fight broke out on the sidewalk between multiple individuals, causing police to get involved (Photo courtesy of Adrian Sanchez).

On Oct. 1 between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., a fight broke out between two students outside of Whitehouse Hall near East Porter St.

According to Director of Campus Safety Dave Leib, the altercation happened “around 2:15 a.m.”

Dion Barnes, Houston junior, was a witness to the beginning of the fight

“I walk outside, I see two groups of people arguing. At first, it’s just arguing, nothing violent,” Barnes said. 

Adrian Sanchez, Dallas sophomore, was on the sidewalk when the fight started. Sanchez said he was walking to his room when he saw “a couple people in the street” and “people were sort of yelling at them.”

Sanchez said someone told them to “‘get out of the way’ because there was a car trying to pass by.”

“Just that one little spark of commotion just like, triggered stuff with certain people, and maybe they saw that as an excuse to maybe like start going at it,” Sanchez said.

Tuesday McBride, Saginaw sophomore, said they witnessed the fight from a car that was driving past Whitehouse Hall.

“Next to the Whitehouse metal sign, there was just a clump of like six or seven people just like fighting; brutally fighting,” McBride said.

Sanchez said that “not even 15 seconds later” the first police car showed up.

Barnes said the police were there instantly.

Leib said this was likely because there was a police officer issuing tickets to cars parked on East Porter St.

Sanchez, McBride and Barnes said they watched the police officer getting out of his vehicle.

“One cop got out of his car and started shouting at them like ‘hey break it up, hey break it up’ – nobody listened obviously – and then we saw something in his hand and it was mace,” McBride said.

“Instead of trying to physically break it up, they just whipped out pepper spray and sprayed everyone down,” Barnes said.

On Oct. 1, Cleveland junior, Faith Shook posted a video of the fight from the opposite side of the street. In the video, a police officer is seen getting out of his vehicle. Then, he walks up and sprays a substance from an aerosol can toward the people fighting and the students nearby.

“At first it was just pepper spray, then after that it just kinda got out of control,” Barnes said. “I was watching it, they were dragging people, throwing them around, it was just kind of unnecessary.” 

Sanchez said after the police walked up to the group of students fighting, people ran away. 

“I remember everyone was kind of like running around because people just got maced, and I remember after that one person or two people being handcuffed,” Sanchez said. “I’m not assuming that they were being arrested, more likely being detained, so they could get everyone calmed down.”

When McBride drove back to Whitehouse, they said the fight seemed to have broken up after the police got involved.

“We came back about 40 minutes later and there were still the cop cars there and at that point, the group we saw originally had broken up and gone to wherever they were going,” McBride said.

Sanchez added that he was “a little bit shook up after.” 

“Especially when the police officers started macing people,” Sanchez said. “That was a little rough to watch just because I know how bad something like that can hurt.”

Leib said he does not know if the Albion Department of Public Safety is conducting any further investigation into the matter.

“It’s probably concluded unless one of the parties wishes to press charges,” Leib said.

Newly hired Vice President of Marketing and Communications Director Melissa Anderson said in an email on Oct. 2 that the students involved in the fight are “being supported in the ways they need to be supported.”

“The College is committed to ensuring the investigative process is fair to all parties involved and that privacy is maintained throughout the college conduct process,” Anderson said.

The Pleiad reached out to President Wayne Webster on Oct. 1. He declined to comment. The Pleiad reached out to students involved in the fight on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4. They did not respond in time for publication. The Pleiad also reached out to the Albion Department of Public Safety on Oct. 6. They did not respond in time for publication.

Bella Bakeman also contributed reporting to this story.

About Aidan Shapiro 10 Articles
Aidan Shapiro is a sophomore from Clawson, MI and an English major at Albion College. He is mainly focused on, but not limited to writing about sports. He writes as a way to express what he is passionate about. He also plays on the lacrosse team here at Albion He can be reached at AJS26@albion.edu.

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