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Four California University rugby players accused of assault

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Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

Four members of the California University of Pennsylvania rugby team are accused of assaulting two men at a campus fraternity house early Friday.

Rithichai V. Phothisuk, 20, of Cheswick; Michael C. Boyd, 20, of Finleyville; Jacob W. Hetzer, 21, of Stoystown; and Joel A. Zollars, 22, of Waynesburg were charged with burglary, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Police said the four men entered the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house on Second Street uninvited shortly before 3 a.m. A fight ensued, and David Thomas Constance, 20, of Birdsboro, Berks County, was knocked to the ground, punched and kicked in the face, police said. Campbell Quick, 21, of California was punched repeatedly in the head and face.

Both men suffered facial injuries. Constance was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll. Quick was taken to the university health center by campus police.

The suspects were arraigned before Centerville District Judge Joshua P. Kanalis and placed in Washington County Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bond.

"We have a process through the office of student conduct," said Christine Kindl, university director of communications and public relations. "There will be an investigation for each student individually, and that process will play itself out."

Rugby is considered a club sport at the university, not a varsity sport.

The school on Friday issued a statement saying that, "The university expects every student to abide by its code of student conduct, and it has taken immediate action in response to this incident.

"This weekend's scheduled match between Cal Rugby and West Virginia University has been canceled. The Cal Rugby organization is under interim suspension, and the individuals involved will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

"The rugby club is cooperating fully with the university sanctions. In addition, the club has its own code of conduct for team members. Under those guidelines, the club has removed two players from its roster and suspended two others."

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