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Dance ends with three fights, pepper spray and five arrests

By Amanda Hickey
News Editor

Three students and one non-student were charged with simple-affray on the state and campus level after fighting at a dance Feb. 23.  A non-student was charged with inciting a riot and failure to disperse on the state and campus level.            

Cpl. Edward Strickland, Cpl. Ricardo Bell and Cpl. Steven Jones, all of the Department of Police and Public Safety, would break up one fight and then another would start between different subjects, according to the police report.  At one point, there were three fights at the same time.

“Due to the number of altercations taking place, the refusal of the crowd to disperse and the threat of spectators provoking more incidents, Officer Strickland felt it necessary to use OC Spray (pepper spray) to gain control of the situation,” stated the report.
Detective Ed Locklear, of the Department of Police and Public Safety, said that officers made the right call.

“It’s a non-lethal force, it gets the job done and you don’t have to lay a hand on them,” he said.  “It’s not something we take lightly.”            
Campus police officers are trained in using OC spray, and are sprayed with OC spray while training.

“Every officer has been through exactly what those students went through,” said Detective Locklear.            
Robeson County EMS responded to a female student who appeared to be having a seizure due to exposure to OC spray.  The student refused treatment and transport, saying that she was okay, according to the police report.

UNCP dance policy was not followed at the dance, according to the police report.             
Guest sign-in sheets were not completed and guest IDs were not collected. 

The actions of a non-student was the main contributing factor to the incident, according to the report.       

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Updated: Monday, March 26, 2007
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