Police arrest 17 in connection to Radford University hazing incident

By Heather Butterworth - Digital Content Producer

RADFORD, Va. - Radford police have arrested 17 men after an alleged hazing incident. 

The incident happened September 14 in the 1200 block of Downey St. A college student and potential pledge was branded at a rogue fraternity party near Radford University. 

According to search warrants, the male student was forced to drink a large amount of liquor, then was burned after he passed out. Click here for more details on the incident.

Radford University confirms that 15 of those arrested are students. 

A Radford University spokesman says, "This alleged activity is abjectly reprehensible and not reflective of our university. As facts are established from the police investigation, any Radford students found in violation of the Standards of Student Conduct will be held fully accountable. Possible sanctions may include warning, probation, suspension or dismissal."

Two separate search warrants were executed for probable cause developed during the arrest process. 

Additional charges are pending. 

The following men have been arrested: 

Kyle Dennis Best, 20, of Haymarket, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Christopher Blair Gepford, 22, of Centreville, Virginia: Hazing, maintaining common nuisances

Matthew Dylan Thomas, 21, of Haymarket, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Caleb Lorenzo Howard, 19, of Manassas, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Joshua Ko, 19, of Fairfax, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Luke Everett Andress, 19, of Vienna, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Matthew Stuart Wedel, 20, of Manassas, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Jason Nicholas Wheeler, 21, Fairfax Station, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Carlos Escobar, 23, of Alexandria, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Joseph Andrew Sible, 22, of Arlington, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, maintaining common nuisances 

Trever Vaughn Stanford, 22, of Hamilton, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, maintaining common nuisances 

Justin Patrick Hooper, 20, of Ashburn, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Marcel Terrence Gough, 20, of Herndon, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Samuel Kent Harris, 22, of Gainesville, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, maintaining common nuisances 

Hunter David Hanes, 19, of Roanoke, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold 

Clayton Marshall O'Neill, 21, of Herndon, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, maintaining common nuisances 

Jacob A. Tucker, 21, of Stafford, Virginia: Hazing, purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, maintaining common nuisances 

Here is Radford University's full statement:

Radford University can confirm that 15 students were charged Dec. 13 as a result of a City of Radford Police Department investigation into alleged illegal activity by a former campus-affiliated, student-based group. The charges include hazing, purchasing alcohol for one to whom they may not be sold and maintaining common nuisances.
 
On October 13, 2017, Radford University officials were informed that a student sustained serious injuries allegedly in conjunction with an unsanctioned membership pledging process at an off-campus residence during the overnight of September 14-15, 2017.  The alleged incident involves possible activities of a former campus-affiliated, student-based group that had its charter revoked by a national organization and was dismissed by Radford University in June 2016.  The dismissal of the student group was the direct result of previous violations of Radford University’s Standards of Student Conduct and criminal convictions from hazing incidents that
occurredinthe spring 2016.

Upon receipt of this most recent allegation, Radford University made contact with the student and immediately contacted the City of Radford Police Department, as the alleged activity occurred off campus.  Additionally, the University has provided continuous support for the student throughout the investigation.
 
This alleged activity is abjectly reprehensible and not reflective of our university.  The University has been and will continue to cooperate with the police in their investigation.  As facts are established from the police investigation, any Radford students found in violation of the Standards of Student Conduct will be held fully accountable. Possible student conduct charges may include hazing, endangering conduct and alcohol violation.  Possible sanctions
mayincludewarning, probation, suspension or dismissal.

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