UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The fraternity student who I spoke with didn't want to be named or shown on TV because he's afraid for his safety. He tells us he and six fraternity members were having a party in their Lisbon Avenue house with other college students that they invited. He says at least 30 party-goers were jumped by a large group of young men who weren't invited to the party.
It all started with one uninvited guest who later returned with at least 20 friends. "On being told this was a closed party we were hit with bottles, cans, they threw cigarette butts. One of the guys jumped up on a car smashing the windshield."
The student called police while the guests stayed inside. After waiting 10 minutes, many left. They didn't know that the same group was waiting at the corner with brass knuckles, belts, and other weapons.
"These guys come up from behind and punch people in the back of the head, and several guys come over and stomp on them." Police confirm at least 5 students were treated for injuries. The witness tells us one student had a broken nose, another suffered multiple facial fractures, among other injuries.
Buffalo Police arrested five people, including two juveniles.
Some students are angry it took so long for police to arrive. A Buffalo Police spokesperson tells us the first call came in 5 or 10 minutes before midnight claiming the fight is now ending. That was placed as a low priority or priority 3.
A short time later, another call of fighting. This time different addresses were given. The call is pushed up to priority 2.
A third call was placed at 12:10am, claiming gunshots were fired. Police arrived in less than 3 minutes, but about 25 minutes after the initial call.
"I can understand why Buffalo Police didn't make it there for 20 minutes. Student parties are a low priority call, according to 911." Says Buffalo Common Council member Bonnie Russell. She wants UB Police and Buffalo Police to re-work their current agreement, and allow UB Police to respond to off-campus issues. "if UB gets there quicker than Buffalo Police. It's a no brainer." She will propose this at the next Common Council meeting on Tuesday.
The witness we spoke with tells us Buffalo Police told them it's not safe for them to return to the area following the attack, so now UB has been paying for them to stay in hotel. Now Mayor Byron Brown, Common Council Member Bonnie Russell, Buffalo Police Detective, UB officials, and parents all expected to discuss student safety at a meeting Thursday night.
Sources also tell us there is an investigation into whether the students were charging money at the door and whether there were underage students at the party drinking. Both would be violations.
Following is a statement from Dennis Black, UB vice president for student affairs.
"The university makes every effort to educate our students about the risks of parties and other events that may attract uninvited guests. Because of federal privacy laws and the ongoing police investigation, UB cannot comment on specifically on this incident. However, UB maintains an interest in all behavior, whether on- or off-campus, and in situations where students may have violated UB policies regarding off-campus conduct, the university has a formal process of review and adjudication that could lead to disciplinary action."
"Students who violate a local ordinance, or any law, risk the legal penalties prescribed by civil authorities. Criminal and alcoholic beverage violations in the community are subject to the jurisdiction of the municipal courts and the State Liquor Authority."
"When a student has been apprehended for the violation of a law of the community, it is the university's position not to request or agree to special consideration for the student because of his or her student status."
"Finally, students living in the community as citizens, are entitled to the same level of protections under the law as all others. Violence can never be tolerated."
The meeting where this issue will be further discussed is scheduled for tomorrow night at 6pm at the Gloria Parks Community Center.