EMU investigating possible student involvement in coney island fight
Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office
The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said some of the individuals involved in the fight are believed to be EMU fraternity and sorority members.
"It appears that some of the people involved in this incident were fraternity and sorority members at EMU," said Sgt. Geoff Fox. "This is based on clothing being worn that night and witness statements."
Jan. 11, a fight broke out at Luca's 24-hour Coney Island restaurant at 2469 Washtenaw Ave. in Ypsilanti Township between two groups of people. One customer pulled out a gun and put it to the back of another customer's head and shoved it in the face of a waitress as well.
University spokesman Geoff Larcom said the university is aware of the incident and video and the sheriff's department is handling the criminal case.
"The university is investigating the incident to determine the level of involvement of our students," Larcom said. "The individual charged by the sheriff's department thus far is not an EMU student."
A week after the fight, sheriff's deputies arrested 32-year-old Ronjour Jacobs of Ann Arbor on felonious assault charges.
Another man who pulled out a gun during the fight has not yet been identified, but police are still investigating, said Derrick Jackson, director of community engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.
Monday morning, WorldStarHipHop, an urban video sharing site, reposted the video of the incident that was initially on AnnArbor.com's site.
The video was posted by a user of the site that alleged EMU fraternity and sorority members were involved in the fight.
Tuesday morning, the site removed the video description alleging student involvement. The video has received more than 663,000 views.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
The video has been posted on various social media sites by EMU students claiming to know the individuals as classmates and members of the organizations.
The university has yet to confirm student involvement, but Larcom said the Student Conduct and Community Standards office is looking into the manner.
If student involvement is confirmed, the university has the right to pursue disciplinary action, according to the Student Conduct Code.
The university has jurisdiction over misconduct that occurs on university premises and at university-sponsored activities. However, the university can address off-campus behavior if it "impairs, obstructs, interferes with or adversely affects the mission, processes or functions of the university."
The university can pursue disciplinary action against a student at the same time the student is facing criminal charges for the same offense, according to the handbook, even if the criminal prosecution is pending, has been dismissed or the charges have been reduced.
Disciplinary actions could include verbal warnings up to permanent dismissal or revocation of a degree.
If a fraternity or sorority is found to have been involved in an incident violating the code of conduct, the organization could face a range of penalties such as probation, suspension and permanent termination of university status.
The university could not provide information regarding whether any fraternities or sororities have been banned from campus before. Fraternities and sororities can also face action from their state chapters and national offices.
Whether the university plans to ask the website to remove the video remains to be seen. Larcom said a few years ago, another video was posted on a similar site, alleging EMU student involvement in a fight at an off-campus event. In that instance, Larcom said the allegations were false and the university had the video removed from the site.
"There were openly false assertions," Larcom said. "...In this case, (there are) just too many questions to be answered at this point."