By BOB BUCKLEYHowever, not every one is avoiding a rush to judgement.
FOX8 News GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) -- On a campus founded by pacifists, a war of words has broken out.
And as the events of the week since the fight at Guilford College have unfolded, uncertainty over what happened has increased as allegations grew, minor details were revealed and speculation abounded.
That which is known for certain is scarce: The FBI is now investigating a fight involving three Palestinian students and a number of football players. Five players -- Michael Bates, Michael Six, Christopher Barnette, Jazz Favors and Jonathan Underwood -- have been charged with assault, battery and ethnic intimidation. The Greensboro police and Guilford College are each conducting their own investigations, and five unnamed students have been temporarily suspended from the school.
Everyone involved appears to be trying to prevent the rush to judgment and storm of accusations that turned the Duke lacrosse case into a national sensation.
The school's dean for campus life, Aaron Fetrow, acknowledged the lack of certainty about the events early Saturday morning: "There are so many varied things out there [that] I don't know what happened, or I would've decided."
Parents of one of the football players said they know what happened: their son was beaten with a belt by one of the Palestinian students. They have photos taken, they said, by Guilford College security personnel as evidence of Michael Six's injuries.
More than 250 Guilford College students walked out of class Thursday, protesting what they called racism on campus. The students who walked out of class wore red ribbons and gathered at the campus Quad.I wonder if they mean racism against white people? What are the odds?
The College has already started doing what neither the police nor the FBI have begun to do. Take some statements.
1/27/2007 4:11 PM By: News14RaleighThe broken jaw and fractured nose ought to be easy to verify. Nerve damage in the hand will be harder to prove.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford College officials have about 25 statements from people who witnessed or participated in a racially-charged fight on campus last weekend, but they haven't determined exactly what happened.
Three Palestinian students said they were taunted with racial slurs and called "terrorists" as they were beat and kicked by several members of the school's football team, according to court documents. Five players have been charged with assault and ethnic intimidation, though the charges were not the result of a police investigation.
Rather, the charges were approved by a magistrate judge after the three accusers reported the incident. Greensboro police have not met with the accusers, and a detective has been assigned to the case, police said Friday. The FBI also is investigating.
Based on eyewitness statements, school officials determined the fight broke out just after midnight Jan. 20 near a residence hall. The fight lasted less than five minutes and possibly involved "hate speech during and after the incident," according to the school.
Those involved in the fight were neighbors in a residence hall, and at least a few of them had been drinking alcohol, school officials found. Aaron Fetrow, dean for campus life, said his staff reviewed the information and tried to piece together what actually happened.
"Finally, we couldn't," he said. "Because if we took a stance, or if we said something one way or the other, it could possibly indict in the court of public opinion. And we can't have a process like that."
The accused football players haven't spoken publicly about the case, though the parents of three players said the team members weren't the aggressors.
The accusers - Guilford College students Faris Khader and Osama Sabbah, and Omar Awartani, a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh - suffered concussions in the altercation, their attorney said.
In a telephone interview Friday, attorney Seth Cohen also said Awartani has a broken jaw, Khader has a fractured nose and Sabbah has nerve damage in a hand. He said none had been drinking alcohol.
However, we do have photographs of Six's injuries. Perhaps the Palestinians might want to see that or even raise it with x-rays and MRIs. We haven't seen picture one of those guys.
An earlier anonymous report said Faris was a hot head
Faris and Osama are good guys, I like them a lot, and no doubt they did not deserve this, but as much as I like them they sometimes tend to look for fights.Here we have confirmation (non-denial) from Cohen, the accusers' lawyer, that Faris was somewhat of a hot head.
Cohen did not answer questions about Faris Khader's suspension from Guilford College last semester or whether any of the Palestinians clashed with members of the football team before Jan. 20.