House Party Awry

House Party Goes Awry

Three University Athletes Arrested Following Off-Campus Party

House Party AwryTwo University football players have been charged with disorderly conduct, maintaining a nuisance, providing alcohol to underage persons, and littering, after a fight allegedly broke out at an off-campus house party on Atlantic Avenue on Thursday, Feb. 16. Another student, who is a member of the track and field team, was arrested the following day, on counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing the administration of law.

According to a press release provided by the Deal Police Department, the two football players, Christian Runza and Michael Christ, were said to be the hosts of the party and tenants of the home and were arrested immediately. Police said there were roughly 200 to 300 people in attendance at the party. The football players were released on a summons and are currently awaiting a future court date.

Tyrell M. Gibbs, a member of the track and field team, was not arrested during the initial incident, but was later identified by the University Police Department and a few cooperating witnesses. He was released from police headquarters and was also granted a summons for a future court date.

Police officials from Deal, Ocean Township, Long Branch, and Allenhurst arrived to the scene at approximately 12:24 a.m., after someone called in about a large fight occurring on the residence, according to a press release.

According to police the fight began after a group of approximately 30 people were denied entrance to the event. That group of individuals then allegedly began vandalizing cars in the surrounding area.

A student who attended the party but who would like to remain anonymous, said, “When we got to the party there were about 20 to 30 high school students outside of the house. Usually it’s only students from the University at those parties, so they weren’t being allowed in.”

“There  was also a fight in the house between a friend of one of the track players, and a football player. At the end of the night I saw him [the friend of the track player] outside with a gash on his forehead, and blood all on his shirt. Stuff like this never happens [at Monmouth University].”

The Department of Athletics declined to comment on the status of the student-athletes and deferred The Outlook to Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of University Marketing & Communications. Peters stated that federal privacy laws prohibit the University from disclosing information about any student disciplinary records and that future proceedings, if warranted, are confidential.

Shannon Killeen, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, said, “The University reviews all reports of off-campus violations to make a determination if actions must be taken under the Student Code of Conduct.”

Christina Addison, a social work graduate student, was in her off-campus home on Elinore Avenue when police were headed to the scene. “I was just falling asleep when I heard sirens and saw the lights going down our street. I was worried that something was happening, so I jumped out of bed to check on my roommates. We looked out the window and could see the lights in the distance, but we dismissed it as nothing,” she said.

The Outlook reached out to the three students who were charged. One student did not respond. Another asked that the story not be written and the third directed the paper to contact the University Athletics Department, who referred the paper to Tara Peters’s Office.

Police are still investigating the situation and searching for the group of individuals who were vandalizing vehicles in the neighborhood. Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Deal Police department at 732-531-1113.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jamilah McMillan