Police: Univ. of Toledo student victim of racially-charged assault at frat house

Police have yet to name suspects in the alleged weekend assault of University of Toledo student at an off-campus fraternity party. (File)

TOLEDO -- Police have yet to name suspects in the alleged weekend assault of University of Toledo student at an off-campus fraternity party.

Rayshawn Watkins, 19, told police that he had been drinking at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house, 3530 Dorr Street, late Saturday night. He was at the open party with some friends when members of the fraternity began yelling racial slurs, including the "N-word," at him, according to a police report.

Toledo Police say an unidentified suspect then accused Watkins of damaging a string of Christmas lights before yelling "Leave, (n*****)!" repeatedly.

As Watkins and his friends began to leave, the aforementioned suspect and one other unidentified suspect began assaulting him by punching him, kicking him, and yelling racial slurs at him, according to police.

Police say that as the victim's friends were held back by other fraternity members, other members joined in on the assault on Watkins.

The alleged attack is reported to have taken place around 1:25 a.m. Sunday. When police went to the fraternity house to speak to members, they got no response at the door.

While the alleged assailants have not been named by police, the victim's friends say they can identify them all with the help of social media profiles, according to a police report.

Those involved in the altercation face charges of assault and ethnic intimidation.

University of Toledo President Sharon Gaber said the University found out about the allegations on Sunday through a series of posts to Twitter. As police conduct their investigation into the alleged incident, the University will move forward with a Student Code of Conduct investigation, which will include due process for all parties involved in the alleged fight.

National representatives from the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity released a statement Monday evening:

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity is investigating an alleged altercation that occurred over the weekend involving members of its Beta Iota Chapter at the University of Toledo. Chapter operations have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
"The safety of our members and guests remains one of the fraternity's chief priorities," said Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes. "Pi Kappa Phi is also committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes respect for the identities and backgrounds of all people."
"We have instructed our students to cooperate fully with all investigation efforts," added Timmes.

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