A CSU sophomore remains in critical condition after being assaulted early Wednesday morning at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, 635 S. Shields Ave.
William “Taylor” Whitmire, a 20-year-old sophomore psychology major from Atlanta and member of CSU’s Sigma Chi chapter, was taken by ambulance to Poudre Valley Hospital with massive head injuries.
A suspect has been identified, but his name has not been released since no arrest has been made, said Rita Davis, Fort Collins Police Services spokeswoman.
Director of Greek Life Mark Koepsell said the suspect is not a member of any CSU fraternity. It is unknown if the suspect is a student.
FCPS was alerted of the injury when a 911 call was made at 1:18 a.m. Wednesday. The caller reported a fight that had occurred and said that one male was injured.
“The suspect hit the victim with his fist and when he fell he hit his head on the pavement,” Davis said.
According to witnesses, a verbal argument occurred earlier Tuesday evening between the suspect and at least one Sigma Chi member at or near The Avenue, 151 S. College Ave., Davis said.
Koepsell does not believe Whitmire was at The Avenue Tuesday night.
The cause of the argument is unknown.
“Later that evening the suspect and a few of his friends came to the Sigma Chi fraternity house to conclude the disagreement,” Davis said.
Koepsell also said there is no reason to believe Whitmire was intoxicated.
“Nothing I have heard would lead me to believe he was necessarily drunk, or drinking for that matter,” he said.
A total of 15 people were outside of the fraternity house when the fight occurred, Davis said.
The fraternity chapter’s president, Brian Hunt, wrote in a statement that Whitmire and a non-active fraternity member tried to talk the suspect and an acquaintance into leaving the premises when the suspect struck the nonactive member.
Hunt wrote that Whitmire intervened and was also struck, which was when he hit the ground. He wrote that the suspect and his acquaintance brought a baseball bat with them to the house.
A witness offered a differing account of the incident.
When Richard Lynn, a junior political science major, arrived at the fraternity house, he said he saw the suspect – an acquaintance of his – holding a bat and standing near three fraternity members who were at The Avenue earlier. He said he came to the fraternity house because the suspect’s girlfriend called and asked him to help break up the altercation.
He said the suspect dropped the bat, and Whitmire picked it up and started swinging it around. The suspect then punched Whitmire in the jaw, knocking him to the ground, Lynn said. Lynn is also an employee at The Avenue.
Koepsell also said there is no reason to think the Sigma Chi chapter violated any Greek Life laws.
“There is no reason for us to believe at this time that it’s a chapter issue, so our focus is on care and concern for the members who are distraught over the physical condition of one of their brothers,” he said. “Obviously if it came out that it was a chapter issue, then we would deal with it.”
FCPS is requesting anyone with information on the incident to call officer Art Choury at 221-6837.
“Mr. Whitmire is one of our chapter’s brightest and most congenial members,” Hunt wrote. “We, the members of the Beta Tau Chapter of Sigma Chi, know that Taylor is as tough as he is friendly and we expect him to make a quick and complete recovery.”