Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ball State House Visitor Threatens Violence

Fraternity visitor arrested for gun possession
Sigma Phi Epsilon calls University Police after threats to shoot

Sarah Frost

A former Ball State University student was arrested early Saturday morning following an altercation at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house where, according to a University Police arrest report, police found a loaded handgun.

According to the report, University Police arrived just after 3 a.m. to find non-fraternity member Jamie Barnes, 22, drunk and cursing.

Sigma Phi Epsilon President Donnie Williams said the fraternity had been providing tours of its recently completed $3.1 million residence earlier in the evening and still had guests at the house. Barnes was able to access the residence because he had a Ball State ID card, Williams said.

"It is important that students know we are careful to avoid any type of situations like this, so we do check student ID's," he said.

Williams said Barnes was arguing with a 21-year-old fraternity member and threatening to shoot people. Students searched a small backpack that Barnes had left in another room and found a small gun inside, Williams said. They then took the backpack from the house and threw it across the street prior to the police officers' arrival, he said.

"Sig Ep brothers defused a life-threatening situation," Williams said. "If it wasn't for their quick thinking, someone may have been seriously hurt."

According to the arrest report, officers found the backpack, which had the comic hero "Iron Man" decorated on it, and an RG Industries RG 14 .22 caliber handgun. Ball State dispatch also advised police that Barnes was wanted out of Muncie City Court for failure to appear for a review hearing. Police apprehended Barnes on charges of intimidation and possession of a handgun without a permit and he was taken to Delaware County Jail.

According to Ball State dispatch, Barnes was released from jail Monday.

Williams called the Saturday's episode "a prime example of brotherhood."

"Had we not stuck it out together, a potentially life-threatening situation may have ended deadly," Williams said. "However, a few brothers stepped up to the challenge and saved lives."

Fraternity visitor arrested for gun possession