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Entries in Arizona State University (3)

Wednesday
May012013

Frat Party Violence Escalates at Arizona State University

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- In the latest instance of what has become a persistent problem in the Tempe, Ariz., area, five people were arrested at a fraternity brawl near Arizona State University, which police say involved baseball bats and gunfire.

Tempe police say a party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon apartment complex came to a violent end early Sunday morning after two non-students were attacked by fraternity members during a fight over a woman. Much of the incident was captured by surveillance cameras.

One of the fraternity's members remains in intensive care Wednesday, and police expect more arrests in addition to the five people already charged. The arrests are the latest incident as a university and city try to reign in a party culture that some say is getting out of hand.

The fight, which began with a shoving match at the party, was captured by security cameras, and newly released 911 tapes reveal the incident's escalation.

"Somebody came in with a baseball bat and smashed somebody in the face," a caller told the 911 dispatcher. "You need to get over here right now."

At that point, gunshots were fired. The ensuing panic sent hundreds who were at the party running for their lives. No one was shot. Three of the alleged attackers remain in custody on Wednesday. Two others were booked on misdemeanor charges of trespassing. But Arizona State University's neighbors say they've had enough.

"Eight months of constant partying, constant underage drinking … the cops may show up but they never got shut down. The music was always going," one neighbor told ABC News.

Since ASU closed all on-campus Greek housing in 2012, the fraternities and sororities have filled nearby apartment complexes. Since then, neighbors say crime, loud parties, and violence have skyrocketed.

"You have parties that grow to 50-plus people and they are drunk. It can feel threatening," a neighbor said.

At the same apartments where this weekend's melee took place, two rival fraternities were caught on tape brawling it out last November. In March, two female students were hospitalized for burns after police say someone at the party threw a bottle of alcohol into an open fire, causing an explosion.

"The bottom line is, we're going to respond, and we're going to take care of the situation," Tempe Council Member Joe Navarro said. "And we want our residents to know that they live in a safe area."

Arizona State officials say they are working with off campus fraternities to move them back on campus by the fall semester. Delta Kappa Epsilon tells ABC News that their members were attacked unprovoked and there was no fraternity party in the apartment complex the night in question.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec092012

Jack Culolias: Clairvoyant Joins Search for Missing Arizona State University Student

Courtesy Seeking The Lost(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- A psychic has offered her services to help locate missing college student Jack Culolias, whose family is desperate to bring the 19-year-old home in time for the holidays.

The Arizona State University student was last seen being escorted out of the Cadillac Ranch bar at Tempe Marketplace on Nov. 30 during a fraternity event.

Melinda Vail, a Tempe psychic, heard about the case and offered her services to the Culolias family, she told ABC News' Phoenix affiliate.

Vail said she has been able to provide Tempe police with specific information, but she declined to publicly say whether she believes Culolias is dead, out of respect to his family.

"I'm getting names of people both living and dead," Vail said. "They are pieces to a puzzle."

The investigation into Culolias' disappearance has proven to be frustrating for his family and friends.

Culolias' friend, Alec Pinto, was with him the night he disappeared. They were both pledging the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and were there as part of a fraternity social -- a bit of fun before they would go through initiation the following week.

"It had nothing to do with hazing at all, it was purely for fun," Pinto said.

Culolias got drunk and was apparently seen urinating off a balcony, which caused bouncers to escort him out of the bar, Pinto said. He has not been seen since.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, Pinto got worried after not hearing from Culolias, who he normally talked with or saw every day.

"I was worried that no one had seen him and that he hadn't contacted me," Pinto said.

Pinto called Culolias and went to his dorm to no avail. He later discovered that Culolias' phone had been found at the bar.

The following day, as his worry mounted to fear, Pinto decided to try to get a hold of Culolias' family in Orange County, Calif. He eventually reached Culolias' mother, Grace Culolias, and urged her to file a missing person's report.

She filed a report with the ASU Police, but later reached the conclusion that the force was short staffed. So she drove down to Arizona herself to try to discover where her son was and how to bring him home.

"I felt like I was the one in charge of the investigation," Grace Culolias said.

On Monday, while searching a nearby river basin, an area Tempe police described as "desolate," she found a single red Vans sneaker, one that she knew belonged to her son.

She alerted the Tempe Police Department, which had taken over the investigation.

Culolias said the ASU Police told her the department had searched the area last Sunday night with flashlights, but she was critical of the department's actions during the first crucial hours when her son was reported missing.

"They did not do a good job," she said. "It they would have, they would have found the shoe on the second day instead of the fourth. ... They should have immediately turned it [the investigation] over."

The Arizona State University Police Department did not respond to several ABC News calls or an email request for comment.

The Tempe Police Department said it has launched a complete investigation, employing a helicopter, K-9 unit and specialty equipment to search underwater. Investigators have found no evidence of foul play.

Culolias noted Jack was worried about initiation week, or "hell week," as she calls it.

"There is no sign of foul play," she said. "I'm hoping he may have hid because he didn't want to go through hell week. It may have had something to do with the fraternity but, at this point, I don't see any physical evidence."

SAE has a strict no-hazing policy and even condemns excessive drunkenness, Pinto said. The fraternity has started a fund to pay for the Culolias' out-of-pocket expenses while they stay in Arizona to search for Jack. In less than two days, the fund raised $2,712.

On the phone, Grace Culolias spoke of her undying resolve to find her son.

"I am all cried out," she said. "I'm a wreck but I can't sit in a ball and cry; that's not going to bring my son home. I'm at the search site because I want to make sure they [the police] are out here. It's giving me the peace of mind."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec052012

Family of Missing Arizona State University Student Pleads for Help

Courtesy Seeking The Lost(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- Family and friends are pleading for help in finding an Arizona State University freshman last seen exiting a bar in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday.

Jack Culolias was last seen at Cadillac Ranch bar in Tempe Marketplace, Tempe police said.

His friend, Alec Pinto, was with him that night. They were both pledging the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and were there as part of a fraternity social -- a bit of fun before they would go through initiation the following week.

"It had nothing to do with hazing at all, it was purely for fun," Pinto said.

Culolias got drunk and was apparently seen urinating off a balcony, which caused bouncers to escort him out of the bar, Pinto said. He has not been seen since.

On Saturday, Pinto got worried after not hearing from Culolias, who he normally talked with or saw every day.

"I was worried that no one had seen him and that he hadn't contacted me," Pinto said.

Pinto called Culolias and went to his dorm to no avail. He later discovered that Culolias' phone had been found at the bar.

On Sunday, as his worry mounted to fear, Pinto decided to try and get a hold of Culolias' family in Orange County, Calif. He eventually reached Culolias' mother, Grace Culolias, and urged her to file a missing person's report.

She filed a report with the ASU Police, but later reached the conclusion that the force was short-staffed. So she drove down to Arizona herself to try to discover where her son was and how to bring him home.

"I felt like I was the one in charge of the investigation," Grace Culolias said.

On Monday, while searching a nearby river basin, an area Tempe police described as "desolate," she found a single red Vans sneaker, one that she knew belonged to her son.

She alerted the Tempe Police Department, which had taken over the investigation.

Culolias said the ASU Police told her the department had searched the area on Sunday night with flashlights, but she was critical of the department's actions during the first crucial hours when her son was reported missing.

"They did not do a good job," she said. "If they would have, they would have found the shoe on the second day instead of the fourth....They should have immediately turned it [the investigation] over."

The Arizona State Police Department did not respond to several ABC News calls for comment.

The Tempe Police Department said it has launched a complete investigation, employing a helicopter, K-9 unit and specialty equipment to search underwater. Investigators have found no evidence of foul play.

Culolias noted Jack was worried about initiation week, or "hell week," as she calls it.

"There is no sign of foul play," she said. "I'm hoping he may have hid because he didn't want to go through hell week. It may have had something to do with the fraternity but, at this point, I don't see any physical evidence."

SAE has a strict no-hazing policy and even condemns excessive drunkenness, Pinto said. The fraternity has started a fund to pay for the Culolias' out-of-pocket expenses while they stay in Arizona to search for Jack. In less than two days, the fund raised $2,712.

On the phone, Grace Culolias spoke of her undying resolve to find her son.

"I am all cried out," she said. "I'm a wreck but I can't sit in a ball and cry; that's not going to bring my son home. I'm at the search site because I want to make sure they [the police] are out here. It's giving me the peace of mind."

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio