University of Rhode Island football players charged with assaulting frat brothers

Barrett Lyons (right) and Michael LeBlanc (Photos: URI)

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Two University of Rhode Island football players are charged with assaulting members of a campus fraternity over the weekend.

According to URI police, Barrett Lyons and Michael LeBlanc were arrested following an incident at the Chi Phi house at about 2:50 a.m. Sunday.

The university said six fraternity brothers were injured in the incident. Three were transported to South County Hospital to be treated for injuries that included broken noses, a fractured jaw, a fractured arm and lacerations.

Police were patrolling the area of Fraternity Circle when they observed a large group of people outside of Chi Phi, several with injuries. The officers stopped a black pickup truck that was leaving the area and questioned the six occupants. Lyons and LeBlanc were taken into custody shortly after, according to campus officials.

Since the investigation remains active, police said they could not release any further information about what happened.

Lyons, 19, of Belmont, Mass., and LeBlanc, 20, of Charlton, Mass., will be arraigned next week on assault and disorderly conduct charges. Police said misdemeanor charges could be upgraded to felonies pending the outcome of their investigation.

LeBlanc, a freshman, has been permanently dismissed from the team, according to URI. The school said Lyons and a third player, 18-year-old Nate Pauls of Hammonton, New Jersey, have been suspended indefinitely, also pending the outcome of the police investigation. Four other players were suspended for this Saturday’s home game against Delaware. All seven were issued no trespass orders from Chi Phi.

“This type of criminal and violent behavior is not tolerated at the University,” URI Director of Public Safety Stephen Baker said in a statement. “In addition to the criminal charges, the University is taking strong steps to address this incident. University officials also have been in contact with the students who were injured, making sure they have the appropriate resources and support.”

The fraternity declined to comment.

URI police said they’ve responded to the Chi Phi house on three separate occasions so far this year. Officers broke up a party there on Sept. 6, and approximately 100 people left the house. On Sept. 9, a student was charged with underage possession of alcohol in the parking lot, and the following week police responded to an emergency medical situation in which a female was transported to the hospital with a knee injury. Police said it was apparent a party was taking place, and the fraternity’s officers were not being cooperative.

Anyone with information about the incident Sunday is asked to contact Det. Mark Brasil at (401) 874-5580.

Copyright 2015 WPRI. All rights reserved.

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