ASU frat fight: Victim remains hospitalized, 3 arrests

ASU frat fight: Victim remains hospitalized, 3 arrests

Kiernan Bates; Harsimrandeep Bhatti; Joshua Drew James Kiernan Bates; Harsimrandeep Bhatti; Joshua Drew James
TEMPE, Ariz. -

Tempe Police have confirmed that a 19-year-old boy beaten nearly to death early Monday morning was a member of ASU fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. The suspects are members of rival frat Pi Kappa Alpha.

The 19-year-old remains in the hospital. He underwent several surgery Wednesday morning, and Sgt. Mike Pooley says his injuries are so severe, he will need multiple surgeries. His name has not been released.

Wednesday, Tempe Police announced the first arrest in the case -- 19-year-old Kiernan Bates, arrested Tuesday night on charges of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment. He is an ASU student, member of Pi Kappa Alpha, and a former wrestler at Brophy Prep.

Tempe Police announced Thursday that 19-year-old Harsimrandeep Bhatti was arrested on Wednesday on a charge of unlawful imprisonment.

21-year-old Joshua Drew James was also arrested on Wednesday and faces a charge of unlawful imprisonment.

The victim was taken into an elevator at The District on Apache apartment complex and severely beaten sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

A female resident found him about 1 a.m. Monday morning and called 911. She reported seeing two people leave the elevator with blood on their hands.

Police believe Bates and other "PIKE" frat members corralled the victim into the elevator as soon as the door opened.

"He begins to fight back, pull back, he doesn't want to get into this elevator, he's forced into this elevator in which time several of them assault him," said Pooley.

No weapons were used, but kicking and punching were enough to leave the victim with severe trauma to the head. His jaw had to be wired shut. He is expected to survive, but the road to recovery will be long.

Two to three more arrests are forthcoming, Tempe Police said. The group had been drinking earlier in the night.

"Most of these kids, when we get done talking to them they don't really comprehend what they've done until after it's been over with, and by then it's too late," Pooley added.

The city of Tempe is home to 70,000 ASU students, so officers are used to dealing with alcohol-related problems.

"Don't put yourself in the position to make poor choices and go out and wreak havoc and take a thug mentality on our community and think that you can get away with it," said Tom Ryff, Tempe Police Chief.

Bhatti and James were ordered held on $3,600 bond. Bates remains jailed on $5,400 bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

Statement by Pi Kappa Alpha

The International Fraternity has been made aware of an alleged dispute involving three members of the Arizona State University Colony.

The incident in question did not occur at a sanctioned Fraternity event. The Fraternity was informed that the incident occurred at an off campus apartment complex at an event organized by its residents.

All individuals involved in this incident as well as the Colony leadership are cooperating fully with the police and university investigations. In the interim, the individuals allegedly involved in the altercation have been administratively suspended by the Colony, pending the outcome of the police and university investigations.

The Fraternity takes allegations of this nature seriously as they are contrary to the Standards of Pi Kappa Alpha and will follow its established policies and procedures as more facts are made available.

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