Police arrest seven in stabbing at fraternity party
By Phil Hampton October 01, 2009 Category: Campus News
UCLA police have arrested seven people in connection with a fight and stabbing that left three students injured, one seriously, at an off-campus party hosted by a fraternity last month.
Taken into custody on Oct. 1 were Isaiah Hee Cho, 19, of Westminster; Justin Kim, 19, of La Crescenta; and Chris Yi, 19, of Huntington Beach. All three are enrolled as UCLA students. Cho and Yi were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder; Kim was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory. The suspects were taken to the campus police station for processing. They will be remanded into the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Arrested Sept. 22 were Federico Fernandez, 22, of Huntington Beach; Phi Quoc Le, 20, of Huntington Beach; Dan Su Pham, 19, of Covina; and Don Thammavongsa, 19, of Westminster. None of the four are UCLA students. Since being arraigned on charges of attempted murder and aggravated mayhem, they have been held in the central jail in downtown Los Angeles on bail of $2 million each. Their next court date is Oct. 7.
The altercation occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 22 in the 600 block of Midvale Avenue at an apartment complex that serves as the residence for some members of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity. Officers responding to a call about an assault with a deadly weapon found one student stabbed in the abdomen and another stabbed in the arm, police said. A third student had been hit over the head with a bottle. The student stabbed in the abdomen required surgery.
Police said their preliminary investigation found that all seven suspects were uninvited guests at the fraternity party. The fight occurred after the party became overcrowded and the suspects were asked to leave, police said.
Based on witness accounts and other information, police arrested the four non-student suspects at approximately 1 p.m. on Sept. 22 — one outside the Canyon Point residence hall and three near the Sunset Village parking structure in the vicinity of the campus residence halls.
During the course of the subsequent investigation, police learned that Cho, Kim and Yi allegedly had also been involved.
"This is a case of outstanding detective work leading to the arrest of suspects engaged in activities detrimental to the campus community," said UCLA Police Chief James D. Herren. "We are fortunate that such violent crimes are relatively rare in the neighborhood adjacent to campus."
Robert Naples, UCLA associate vice chancellor and dean of students, said the university is prepared to take all appropriate actions regarding the arrested students. He said the fraternity, already on suspension for a previous incident of fighting, is being investigated for additional violations of policies governing campus groups, including alcohol being consumed at parties.
"UCLA takes a very strong stand against those groups that violate policies intended to keep the campus community safe and those individuals charged with serious crimes that reflect poorly on the institution," Naples said.
The arrested UCLA students are not listed as members of the fraternity. Cho is a third-year student majoring in pre-microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Yi is a second-year student majoring in biology; and Kim is a second-year student majoring in pre-business economics.