The student who was reported to have caused serious injury to a police officer after resisting arrest on the night of Sept. 27 was taken to the ground when he was “bear hugged” by that officer, according to court documents filed Monday.
Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) deputy John Kovach hugged the student, who appeared to be intoxicated, around his upper torso after he began pulling away from another officer, Robert Edwards, Kovach’s narrative in the police report states. Kovach remembered “falling, hitting the ground and feeling intense pain in his right leg, around his knee,” he wrote. It was later determined that Kovach had multiple fractures in his right leg, requiring surgery, according to Edward’s narrative.
Subsequent to the fall, Kovach’s “skin color was turning pale and he was sweating profusely.” The student was lying next to Kovach with his head on the ground, appearing very disoriented. Edwards then “dragged the student several feet to get him away from” Kovach before handcuffing him.
The Santa Clara County Court charged the student on two counts: “resisting peace officer and proximately causing death or serious bodily injury” and “possession of a forged driver’s license.”
The identity of the student is being withheld out of concern for his safety.
Three days after the incident, campus newsletter the Fountain Hopper (FoHo) published a “special edition” with the headline “KID PUNCHES COP AT EUROTRASH” and wrote that the “student allegedly assaulted a police officer” according to their tipster, who the FoHo report stated witnessed the altercation. However, the eyewitness account differs from the documents, which do not indicate that anyone was punched or assaulted. Edwards described seeing that the student’s “body became rigid and he clenched both fists.”
According to Edwards’ report, the student appeared to be holding “something dark and black in his left hand,” later determined to be a pair of sunglasses. When Edwards asked the student to let go of the object he was holding, the student broke free of his control hold and started running away. Edwards said in his narrative that “due to [the student’s] aggressive behavior I determined I needed to take him to the ground in an effort to gain control of him.” At that point, Kovach ran over to Edward’s location to take hold of the student, and all three of them fell to the ground, Edward’s narrative continues.
The incident took place in the parking lot between the fraternity residences of Theta Delta Chi and Kappa Sigma, at the same time as the latter’s “Eurotrash” party, the first all-campus party of the academic year. While the FoHo report called the student a “Eurotrash attendee,” an email to The Daily after the incident first took place, Kappa Sigma President Conrad Milhaupt wrote that the fraternity has “no reason to believe the student involved was admitted to or otherwise engaged with [the] event” since visibly intoxicated students were denied entry under the fraternity’s rules. Kappa Sigma had also implemented increased risk management measures for the parties in the form of private security and sober monitors, Milhaupt said.
Upon arrival at the scene, Edwards, who was investigating the student’s sobriety, noticed the student was “extremely intoxicated,” “his speech was slow and slurred” and the front of his pants were unzipped. According to Edwards, “At one point, his eyes appeared to roll back into his head.“ The student also failed the “leg balance” test and was unable to accurately determine the time and location during the interaction.
The student, who is under drinking age, had told the officers he was 21. Deputies later found a fake driver’s license that belonged to him, but had an incorrect date of birth.
After being released from Stanford Hospital, the student was taken to the San Jose main jail where he was booked for being drunk in public and under the influence and restraining a police officer.
The student’s legal counsel did not respond to The Daily’s request for a comment. The arraignment is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 at the Palo Alto Courthouse.
Contact Leily Rezvani at lrezvani ‘at’ stanford.edu.