Four of five students in UCA’s hazing case each pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor hazing charge in Faulkner County Circuit Court on March 17.
The students were Isaiah Christopher Ozuna, 22; Blake Battles, 20; Rico Spears, 21; and Kevin Nguyen, 21.
The fifth suspect – Deven Dyer, 21 – failed to appear before Faulkner County Circuit Court Judge Mike Maggio in court.
Maggio waited about 20 minutes before stating Dyer’s failure to appear at 9:27 a.m.
Ozuna also pleaded not guilty to a felony battery charge as part of the alleged hazing incident involving the Iota Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
All five students must follow a no contact order.
The alleged incident occurred late March 4 at a Krystal Kreek Drive residence in Conway, according to the prosecutor’s affidavit filed March 7. UCAPD arrested Ozuna on March 6.
Police filed affidavits March 7 calling for the arrest of four fellow fraternity members involved in the incident.
Four victims are listed in the police report and UCAPD contacted the original victim March 5.
The victim said he was struck with a paddle numerous times, slapped in the face twice and forced to kneel on uncooked rice while being pelted with raw eggs.
After the incident, the victim said he had difficulty walking and explained that Ozuna called his pledge brothers to the “set house” on Krystal Kreek Drive.
He said the location is “the place where you get paddled.”
The victim said he had red and purple bruises and welts on his buttocks.
According to the victim’s statement, Ozuna is the “dean of pledges” and was “pissed off,” telling the victim to “get in the cut,” a position that implies paddling.
The victim said he was threatened to not report a hazing incident because the fraternity member would be punished by “Kappa law.”
The UCA Greek Life office placed Kappa Alpha Psi on suspension following the incident.
UCA’s Student Handbook states that “no fraternity or sorority shall employ a program of education which includes hazing” and describes hazing as “any intentional action… to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.”