Two Colorado State University freshmen who suffered severe beatings at the hands of their school's football players were both expressing their anger after Fort Collins Police announced their decision to charge four people with disorderly conduct.
Freshmen J.D. Haley and Donny Gocha both suffered injuries that included black eyes, a broken nose, a lacerated lip, chipped teeth and even the imprint of a bootmark on Gocha's back. Gocha's injuries were so severe in fact, that the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports police said he looked like the "Elephant Man."
Gocha posted a photo of his sustained facial injuries on his Facebook shortly after the incident with the caption, "I can literally barely see today."
Regardless, Fort Collins Police decided to charge Gocha along with CSU players, Michael Orakpo, 21, Colton Paulhus, 20, and Nordly Capi, 19, with disorderly conduct, a class 3 misdemeanor.
The fight broke out April 6 around 11:45 p.m. when Gocha, Haley and friends were leaving a party. Although 10 CSU students--six of them football players--and one non-student were involved, only four students were charged.
"I'm pretty mad," Gocha told 9News. "I can understand me getting disorderly conduct, but I don't understand how they got the same charge."
In a 90-page police report obtained by the media, Gocha claims homophobic slurs were yelled and that he yelled back before an SUV loaded with CSU football players emptied onto the street and a fight ensued.
Many of Haley's injuries came as a result of him trying to use his body to cover Gocha's head during the fight, while Gocha ended up being knocked unconscious.
However Orakpo, Paulhus and other players initially denied even being present at the fight when asked by police. Orakpo even suggested in the report that Paulhus or Capi punched Gocha, though one of his teammates told police that Gocha was taken down by Orakpo.
After the initial interviews, police obtained a warrant to search the players' homes where they found suspected anabolic steroids in Orakpo's room and Paulhus' house. In the home shared by Orakpo and Capi, police found bloody clothing and a kit to "skew the results" of marijuana drug tests.
Haley took his frustration to Facebook Thursday:
So not only did the football players lie about initially being there and then later admit that they beat us up, but once the cops search their house there are syringes, steroids, drugs, a bong, as well as cleaner to hide blood on their clothes and the marijuana in their system!.... And they are charged with the same crime as Donny who was the victim of a beating in which they stomped on his and my head.... The Fort Collins Police department as well as the D.A.'s office of Fort Collins should be ASHAMED at the blatant disregard for what is happening in front of their eyes. As a criminal justice major I looked forward to one day working for the Fort Collins police department and as soon as I can I will most certainly transfer if the University doesn't expel these students. This amazes me in every way and I can't wait for the public to find out. If more isn't going to rightfully charge them the Police are about to have a riot on their hands if I have anything to say about it.
The university is still conducting its own investigation and an internal disciplinary process which is confidential, according to University Spokesman Mike Hooker