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ECU student arrested after snowball fight

Posted January 22, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Campus police arrested an East Carolina University student following a snowball fight involving more than 200 students, officials said.

Freshman Steven Rashad Bass hit a campus police officer with a chunk of ice, ECU spokesman John Durham said. He was charged with assault on a public official and resisting arrest.

A video posted on YouTube.com shows an officer chasing a student across campus, tackling him and restraining him on the snowy ground.

"They, like, threw him on the ground, and I couldn't believe it," sophomore Adrianne Charleston said.

Steven Bass, ECU student arrested in snowball fight Officials: ECU student pelted officer with ice

It was unclear whether Bass faces any school disciplinary action.

Pepper spray was used to disperse several students who approached officers after Bass was arrested, Durham said. No injuries were reported.

"I think (pepper-spraying) anybody is kind of extreme when it's a good, clean snowball fight," freshman Ethan Vick said.

An estimated 200 to 250 students participated in the snowball fight, and campus police were called to the area three times to control the activity, Durham said.

"There were reports of, in addition to snowballs, throwing pieces of fruit (and) chunks of ice," he said. "The university cannot condone activities like that."

Some students threw snowballs at passing cars or opened car doors and threw snowballs at occupants inside, he said.

"The kids shouldn't have been throwing snowballs at cars, and it got really out of hand when they started opening car doors and throwing the snow inside, because that can be really dangerous," sophomore Keira Masters said.

ECU hasn't issued any statements to students about the incident and doesn't plan to review the officers' response to it, Durham said.

"Students should have known better," he said, adding that officials felt the police action was justified.

The incident marked the second run-in between ECU students and law enforcement officers in recent months.

Football fans rushed the field Sept. 6 after the Pirates defeated then-No. 8 West Virginia 24-3. Video showed some officers knocking fans to the ground.

A Lenoir County deputy seen beating a fan on the ground was cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation, and Pitt County prosecutors haven't filed any charges in the case.


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  • mpheels Jan 23, 2009

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the police officer was going to let everyone off once the situation calmed down, a kids will be kids sort of thing, until someone hit him with the snowball? If he witnesses/victims weren't there to ID the perpetrators and press charges there isn't much the officer(s) can do, the next step is to get the situation under control so no one else gets hurt. If the students had just acted like the adults they are supposed to be, realized that it was fun while it lasted but the party was over, then everyone gets to go home relatively unscathed (except for the few that were hurt, and they can/should file a reports and press charges). There are certain rights and privileges that come with adulthood, like voting and entering into contracts, but there are also responsibilities like not acting foolish and accepting the consequences of bad behavior.

  • leo-nc Jan 23, 2009

    "as for one of those comments about the police chasing him 20 yds or more ....so what i guess u can do what u want as long as u run afterwards and its ok...not......i always say to my kids " don't start nothing, won't b nothing" yes...."--

    Ahhhhh, it's nice to know that there are some people with sense out there. Good post :)

  • ccacrabbitdog Jan 23, 2009

    as for one of those comments about the police chasing him 20 yds or more ....so what i guess u can do what u want as long as u run afterwards and its ok...not......i always say to my kids " don't start nothing, won't b nothing" yes.......

  • ccacrabbitdog Jan 23, 2009

    he needed his tail whipped.....and put that on youtube maybe next time some stupid college student will think twice about throwing a chunk of ice at the police....

  • Travised Jan 23, 2009

    Did you watch the video footage of the officer running to tackle the kid? He must have run a good 20 yards and slammed the kid to the ground.

    Put that in conjunction with the footage of the kids having fun with the snowball fight and it's something we don't know that caused this. He (the LEO) could of been having a bad day or SOMETHING. But you don't chase a kid for 20 yards and push his face in the snow while getting out the bracelets.

    YouTube has a few good video feeds (pro video strength) of the fun posted. Not bad music on the one I watched. Some kids were being slightly reckless or not paying attention when partaking in this, but other than a few face hits that I spotted , and hey that always happens, it looked good clean snowball fun. You even had the type that "stocks up" on snowballs so they are not out of ammo.

  • uncbabie Jan 23, 2009

    This just makes me sad. I am not much older than these people, but would never throw snowballs at the police. It is a respect issue. It is something that the generation right behind me is lacking.

  • yellow_hat Jan 23, 2009

    You are Funny - I'm sorry, but WHAT????

    Read your last post again. You cannot put together a coherent sentence, and yet you tell me to get a clue? hmmm, OK.

  • pinkfemnc Jan 23, 2009

    I think if it had been a yellow snow ball then that may have been a little more news worthy.

  • dugmeister Jan 23, 2009

    this is not own the front page of fox news dot com.

  • Randy Cox Jan 23, 2009

    "LEO's were ok with things until they got hit."

    Good point! I guess the other 500 or so acts of "assault" didn't count.

    But then, we don't know how hard Mr Bass packed his alleged snowball or with what force he allegedly threw it. If you've ever been hit hard in the face with a ball of ice, you'd know it would be easy to call it assault.