TEMPE, AZ - An Arizona State University student was arrested in the severe beating of another student found covered in blood after being forced into an elevator in an off-campus apartment complex, police said Wednesday.
Tempe police were investigating whether members of rival fraternities were involved.
“To have an individual beaten to this extent was very concerning to me, my heart goes out to the family,” said Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff.
Residents of the apartment complex called 911 after finding the 19-year-old victim in the elevator about 1 a.m. Monday.
Kiernan Charles Bates, also 19, was arrested Tuesday night and booked on charges of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment, according to police and a court document.
Bates did not immediately respond to an email sent to his ASU account. He was jailed after appearing Wednesday before a judge who set bond at $5,400.
According to MCSO, Bates was released at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“He has not said anything to us. We don't have any cooperation at this time," said Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Mike Pooley.
Surveillance video showed several young men make contact with the victim in the lobby. The victim can be seen resisting and pulling away before he is eventually pushed into the elevator.
“He gets forced into the elevator and there's some commotion. You don't see the actual assault but there's some commotion going on,” explained Pooley.
Two of the young men stepped inside before the door closed, according to the probable cause statement submitted by police.
When the door opened on the third floor, someone waiting for the elevator saw two young men with blood on their hands standing over the injured victim on the floor, the statement said.
In the surveillance video, the 19-year-old victim is seen lying unconscious on the elevator floor, with the student that discovered him trying to help him.
A witness told police they overheard Bates “joking that he needed to wash the blood off his hands.”
The person, and a resident, whom works at the apartment complex later identified one of the assailants as Bates, police said.
The statement said the victim had a broken jaw that had to be wired shut and eight fractures to his face.
Pooley said the victim was highly intoxicated and initially uncooperative with police when contacted at a hospital. He later contacted police to make a report.
Witnesses told investigators that they believed the victim and Bates are from rival fraternities, Pooley said, noting that police have identified other suspects and were looking for them.
The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
The International Fraternity has been made aware of an alleged dispute involving three members of the Arizona State University Colony.
The incident in question did not occur at a sanctioned Fraternity event. The Fraternity was informed that the incident occurred at an off campus apartment complex at an event organized by its residents.
All individuals involved in this incident as well as the Colony leadership are cooperating fully with the police and university investigations. In the interim, the individuals allegedly involved in the altercation have been administratively suspended by the Colony, pending the outcome of the police and university investigations.
The Fraternity takes allegations of this nature seriously as they are contrary to the Standards of Pi Kappa Alpha and will follow its established policies and procedures as more facts are made available.
Arizona State University fraternities are located off-campus, which is why the Tempe Police Department is involved. The University's fraternities have been plagued in several high profile incidents over the past year.
In November 2012, fraternity member Jack Culolias drowned after attending a fraternity/sorority event.
In March 2013, two women were burned at a fraternity party after someone threw a bottle of liquor into a bon fire.
In April 2013, five people were arrested for a brawl at an apartment complex that houses a fraternity.
In May 2013, a fraternity member was left unconscious at an emergency room after participating in a drinking contest. He had a 0.47 blood alcohol content.
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