Five Ole Miss students charged with assault, theft on campus

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, October 22, 2015

One of five students arrested Friday for allegedly being involved in an assault at the Sigma Pi fraternity house on campus was charged with a felony and released on a $10,000 bond.

Tucker Cole Steill was arrested Friday along with four other University of Mississippi students for their alleged involvement in a physical altercation that left a fellow student with serious injuries. He was taken to the Lafayette County Detention Center where he was released Monday on a $10,000 bond.

The other four students were charged with misdemeanors and released. Those students were James Declan Basile who was charged with simple assault, hazing and larceny. Christian Guy, Kyle Hughes and Austin Rice were all charged with larceny.

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The assault occurred on Oct. 6 at the Sigma Pi house, according to the University Police Department. The victim was apparently a member of the fraternity and walked out back where he was allegedly assaulted. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi where he was treated and released for various injuries to the head and face.

Hazing, while a misdemeanor in the criminal world, can be a much more serious offense on campus that could lead to a student’s expulsion. According to the university’s policy on hazing, there is zero tolerance for such occurrences.

“Students and student organizations … will exercise integrity and respect for the dignity of each person by refraining from the act of hazing in any form,” the policy states.

Hazing is any action taken by a fraternity, sorority or club that causes embarrassment, harassment, ridicule or risks of emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or individual, despite someone’s willingness to participate.

It was unknown whether any of the students arrested were members of a fraternity; however, the campus newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, reported Steill was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

UPD did not release what type of hazing incident was involved or whether the assault itself is being considered a hazing activity.

The Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct and UPD investigate hazing incidents.

UPD Capt. Jane Tutor said the case was still under investigation this morning and more details may be available when the investigation is complete.