Pomona student arrested after late-night scuffle with Campus Safety curtails campus concert

A late-night physical altercation between several 5C students and Campus Safety officers at a Pomona College concert Saturday ended with one student arrested for battery and at least one other handcuffed.

Around 11 p.m., a confrontation broke out between two to three students and at least one Campus Safety officer at the event, called SUGAR 2019, in Edmunds Ballroom, according to Elli Stogiannou PO ’22, ASPC’s vice president of campus events. 

At least two of the students were handcuffed and removed from the event, she said. 

The Claremont Police Department responded to assist Campus Safety, arrested one of the two students — a Pomona student — and charged them with battery, according to CPD crime logs. TSL decided not to release the student’s name.

The arrested student struggled against the officers and appeared to thrash around when they were removing them from the event. One of the officers grabbed the student’s neck and appeared to force their head down while two others directed them towards the door, according to videos a witness provided to TSL.

In another video, the student can be seen lying on their stomach while officers restrain them before they removed them from the scene.

The student later posted their $500 bail, according to CPD logs, and was subsequently released, according to Danny Hernandez PO ’22, who was also handcuffed, but not arrested. He said he intervened when he saw his friend being restrained by Campus Safety. 

“I didn’t witness any of the events leading to my friend being pinned down and handcuffed, so naturally I was pretty freaked and surprised when I looked over and saw that,” Hernandez said in a message to TSL. 

“I went up to [Campus Safety] and demanded to know what was going on and why they were arresting my friend,” he added. “They weren’t answering my questions and instead repeatedly told me to ‘back off.’ I didn’t, as I wanted these questions answered. They then proceeded to handcuff me and sat me on the floor. I was allowed to go free after they took my friend away.”

Campus Safety director Stan Skipworth did not respond to a request for comment.

ASPC found the officers’ treatment of the students concerning.

“One of our challenges and our issues with the incident was how it was handled, because the students were handcuffed for a long time,” Stogiannou said. “There was some physicality that we did not feel comfortable with — one of the students was lying on the floor.”

ASPC is still hoping to learn more details about the cause of the incident, which was first reported by The Claremont Independent. Contrary to The Independent’s report, though, Stogiannou said the concert did not end after the altercation.

The scuffle prompted Campus Safety to ask the Pomona administration to shut down the party, Stogiannou said. But the event planners negotiated to keep it open because concert headliner Travis Porter hadn’t yet performed. 

Officers agreed to keep the party going. But no one else was allowed in, leading to long lines and “a lot of tension for the people waiting to come inside,” Stogiannou said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Danny Hernandez’s PO ’22 last name. TSL regrets this error.
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