BAKERSFIELD – Police arrested four men for allegedly assaulting Cal State Bakersfield students who were pledging for a fraternity.
Police began an investigation into the men’s actions after they were tipped off by Mercy Hospital officials last week that a 25-year-old man had been brought in with various injuries. The victim was beaten with paddles, canes and whips, police said.
The subsequent investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department revealed that four CSUB students were assaulted multiple times between March 28 and April 25 during initiation ceremonies into a fraternity. Police said that the students were beaten and shot at close range with a BB gun. Two of the victims were 19 years old and the other two were 25, police said.
The suspects claim affiliation with the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, which is not currently sanctioned by CSUB, college officials said. However, the group does actively recruit CSUB students and has hosted events on campus in the past.
Four of the group’s members were arrested and one more is being sought by police.
Ryan Nichols and Deandre Horn, both 22, were arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, torture and conspiracy. Darlington Agu, 24, and Rickey Joy Jr., 20, were arrested on charges of hazing and conspiracy.
Philemon Norris, 22, is wanted on charges of misdemeanor hazing and felony conspiracy.
All of the suspects are students at CSUB except for Horn, who is an alumnus. The students were all suspended pending the investigation.
“I am personally appalled that such behaviors have occurred,” said Dr. Horris Mitchell, campus president at CSUB. “They are personally offensive to me and to our campus community.”
Mitchell said that the students’ actions are in violation of campus values as well as state and federal laws.
“To the best of my knowledge, the actions reported occurred off campus, which is why the Bakersfield Police Department is conducting the investigation,” he said.
After the investigation, police referred the case to prosecutors for the filing of official charges. On Tuesday, the Kern County District Attorney’s office sent police back to further investigate the case against the five men, police said.
As of Tuesday, only Horn and Agu remained in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Their court date is set for May 13. The other suspects were released on bail.