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Penn State Apartment Fight Update

Yesterday the Centre Dailey Times gave an account of what happened on Saturday night.

Police said the "apartment assaults" shortly after midnight Sunday followed a "street confrontation" at High Street and East College Avenue, when a man walking with a woman on the sidewalk took offense at remarks directed at the woman from an approaching group of three men.

The man who was walking with the woman reacted both verbally and physically -- a "disorderly conduct," Fishel said.

"There was a confrontation, which kind of led to this ... which then led to trespass and assault," Fishel said.

One of the Penn State students who occupies the apartment and who hosted the party for about two dozen people said Tuesday that he had gone to a nearby store for supplies and was on his way back when he noticed people on the sidewalk pointing up to his apartment.

That student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a little while later "a few of them" came to his door and he told them they could not come in, but then 10 or more appeared and "pushed their way in" and the assaults began.

"I said, 'Leave, leave, leave,' " he said. "They just walked right in. They were pushing people out of the way. These guys were huge."

He said five people in the apartment were struck, and about five of the group of 10 or more were involved in the altercation. "Some were just like in the doorway," he said. "Some were holding people back."

"I was being held back in the hallway by some dude who was huge," said the apartment occupant, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

He said "two kids" seated on stools at the bar in the apartment's main room "got the worst of it." One was struck on the head with a bottle, he said, and another got a swollen, black-and-blue eye. He said the young man struck in the head with a bottle went to the hospital.

Another person was kicked in the head as he lay "in the fetal position" on the floor, and two others were punched in the face. He said the intrusion lasted "like three minutes" and then the intruders departed.

Thus far no charges have been filed, though police say the investigation may last up to two weeks. In another odd turn, apparently someone has slipped an anonymous note under the door of the said apartment urging the residents to drop the charges.

"I want you to realize that you have the power now to press charges or to drop them," the letter says. "Legally, the ball is in your hands. However, you can be a hero in this situation and forgive the attackers for what they have done."

The letter adds: "I am sure that the coaches want to know exactly what happened and it would be good for all of you to discuss everything so that any ambiguity is washed out. Then the coaches will be able to punish the actors accordingly. There is contact information at the bottom of this page for Tim Curley, the athletic director. He would be able to set up a meeting of this sort if you would like."

I think everyone is eager to see this situation resolved as soon as possible. Unfortunately I think the police and district attorney are going to take their time and make sure they sort out all the details. I still believe this will have a minor impact on the team when it's all said and done. I imagine if the players involved have clean records they will drop the felony burglary charges and plead guilty to the assualt charges. They'll have to wear an orange vest and pick up some trash along the highway every Sunday morning for a month or two. But that will be nothing compared to what Paterno is going to do to them. Practice is going to be hell going forward and you can bet he's going to want to know where they are every minute of the day. I believe some of them will sit out just one game. The major players in the incident may get two or three. It's certainly not the first time a football player got in a fight, and I'm sure it won't be the last either.