Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Suspect arrested in sorority assault case

Pullman Police arrested one suspect Friday afternoon in connection to a sexual assault at Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

WSU student Kyle M. Schott, 23, is facing one count of first degree rape, one count of burglary in the first degree, two counts of residential burglary and one count of attempted burglary, according to a Pullman Police news release. Police are actively pursuing leads to identify two other suspects in the string of Thursday morning burglaries.

The second suspect is described as around six feet tall with a muscular build and short blond hair, according to a Pullman Police news release. He is said to have a tattoo of a solid triangle on the back of his neck and an ammunition belt tattooed around his right thigh. Police believe there may also have been a third subject involved, who stood guard outside the houses.

Police began looking for suspects after a receiving a report of an attempted rape at 4:48 a.m. Thursday morning.

A woman in her early 20s was asleep in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority on Monroe Street at about 4:30 a.m. when two men reportedly entered the house and began assaulting her. The men are also suspects in break-ins at Delta Gamma and Pi Beta Phi sororities at about the same time frame.

Pullman police credited two Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity members with information leading to Schott’s arrest.

Fraternity president Ryan Lantz, a finance major, and member Branden Rainer, an architecture major, said they were studying downstairs in their fraternity when two men tried to open their front door between 3 and 3:30 a.m Thursday.

They said Schott was standing at the door giggling to himself while the other man did the talking, and both appeared to be under the influence.

Rainer said the second man asked him for alcohol, and when told there wasn’t any, began asking for water instead. Rainer said he told the man they couldn’t get into the house’s kitchen for cups, but the man said he wanted water anyway. At that point, Rainer said the man started offering money.

“He pulled out all of his money out of his wallet, it was probably 30 bucks, for water,” Rainer said. “And he goes ‘Here, here’s about a thousand dollars I’ll give you for water.’ “ Rainer said when he questioned the man about the money, he admitted it was more like “two or three hundred.” Rainer said the man then spotted a bottle with chewing tobacco spit on a table and said he would just “have that tea” instead.

Rainer said he was eventually able to close the door on the two men, and saw them walk away from the house.

Lantz and Rainer said the men were acting strange, and they didn’t seem surprised when confronted at the door. They said the second man was shorter than Schott, about 5-foot-8-inches, but looked like a normal college student.

Rainer said he had seen Schott in a local bar with a mutual acquaintance, whom he later learned was Schott’s roommate. Rainer and Lantz recognized Schott from a photo posted on the roommate’s Facebook page and then called police.

Schott had a fresh bandage around part of his right hand that helped identify him, Rainer said.
Lantz said it’s a good feeling to know he helped apprehend one of the suspects, but wishes they had done more that night before the assault. He said he doesn’t know who the victim is, but feels like it could have been anyone.

“I kind of feel like it could have been any one of my close friends, you know,” Lantz said. “My girlfriend, my sister, any of my close friends that are in sororities ... We just assumed they were just two drunk guys, walking around, lost, being stupid so we just let it go.”