Sparks Fly on First Day
Aside from the expected chaos that ensues on the first day of school (e.g. rushing around to find classes and buy books), some very unexpected events occurred this past Monday, August 31, just east of the campus library.
At approximately 12:05 p.m., the Santa Monica College police were notified that a man was riding his bicycle around campus dropping dollar bills.
Two officers were called to the scene to regulate students who had started to riot over the money. A fight broke out near the front entrance of the library before the police had a chance to intervene. This incident was later discovered to be unrelated to the money-dropping bicyclist.
Six police officers arrived on the scene, and two students were separated and detained along with one other student. A student wearing blue, who was detained for non-compliance, was initially thought to be the main suspect.
According to Sergeant Jere Romano of the Santa Monica College Police Department, "he was flailing his arms around the most and was the least cooperative."
The student in blue was also allegedly yelling out profanities that expressed distain towards police officers. Through discussion with witnesses, and the students involved, it was discovered that the man in blue was actually the victim in the fight.
According to the student in blue, he saw some girls he knew and began talking to them.
A man in plaid came up to him at random and asked "Where you from?" The student in blue replied that he wasn't gang affiliated, but the man in plaid pushed him anyway.
Two to four more men jumped into the fight and began attacking the student in blue. The police arrived soon after and broke up the fight.
One student, Saquan Bowen,19, was arrested under charges of battery on school grounds before being transported and booked into Santa Monica City Jail.
He was an accomplice to the main suspect, the man in plaid, who fled the scene as soon as police arrived. Police are conducting an ongoing investigation to find this suspect.
The school and police department have expressed their concerns about the fight. In response to this incident, Sergeant Romano stated, "We take this seriously.
We've already contacted our gang liaison, who promised any and all support." The campus police are hoping to keep this an isolated incident and are intent on making sure our campus is a safe one.
Hopefully the rest of the school year will follow more peacefully.