New Times / News
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 29, Issue 3
Athlete arrests rock the Cal Poly community
BY RHYS HEYDEN
What police say was an attempted armed robbery on Aug. 10 has prompted multiple arrests, investigations, official condemnations, and promises of policy changes at Cal Poly.
Just a few days after five Cal Poly football players were arrested on suspicion of planning or carrying out an armed robbery at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house on California Boulevard, law enforcement and university officials both say their investigations are well under way.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 10, officers responded to reports of a robbery in progress at the off-campus fraternity house. According to San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Keith Storton, the first officer on the scene saw a robbery suspect confronting a victim in the courtyard area of the house.
The officer drew his handgun and tried to subdue the suspect—who was also reportedly armed. After a protracted scuffle in which police say the suspect violently resisted arrest and bit one of the officers, a team of SLOPD officers and “helpful citizens” were able to subdue the suspect without any serious injuries.
At the scene, police arrested Cameron Akins, 19, on suspicion of robbery with a firearm, assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest. Police also discovered Cortland Fort, 20, in a nearby vehicle allegedly attempting to leave the scene, and arrested him on suspicion of robbery.
After interviewing Akins, Fort, and other witnesses for a few hours, Storton said that police determined three other Cal Poly football players were involved with the alleged crime.
Police subsequently arrested Jake Brito, 18, and Kristaan Ivory, 20, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery, and Dominique Love, 19, on suspicion of robbery. All three were arrested on campus later on the morning of Aug. 10.
According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran, no charges had been filed against any of the players as of Aug. 13. Gran added that all of the players have been released from jail after making bail, and their arraignment has been tentatively set for Aug. 25.
“The police are making sure they have all the details before they give us their reports,” Gran told New Times. “I expect to receive those reports closer to Aug. 23, which is the deadline for filing them.”
All five arrestees are members of the Cal Poly football team, and Ivory was voted the team’s most valuable player last season. According to an Aug. 11 statement from Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier, all five players have been suspended from team activities indefinitely, and the university will conduct internal investigations into possible student conduct violations.
On Aug. 12, university president Jeffrey Armstrong responded to the incident with a more detailed statement that promised a “thorough examination into possible illegal drugs and criminal activity within our football program and on campus” as well as an expanded drug testing program for just the football team that will “screen for a wider array of illegal substances.”
Armstrong added that the attempted robbery “bears striking commonalities” with a November 2013 incident involving Geoffrey Hyde—a former Cal Poly football player and volunteer assistant coach who was shot in the back during what police described as a “drug transaction.”
In that incident, police reported finding a large quantity of Xanax—an anti-anxiety medication and Schedule IV controlled substance—at Hyde’s residence.
SLOPD’s Storton said that one of the witnesses interviewed by police in the more recent case also mentioned a connection to Xanax.
“At this point, we’re making an effort to corroborate that claim,” Storton told New Times. “We have to do our due diligence and complete our investigation.”
When New Times asked Cal Poly’s Lazier for more details about the new drug testing policy, the timeline and nature of the university’s investigations, and whether the football team has a drug problem, he said the two statements “will be the extent of our comments to you at this time.”
“We are unable to comment in further detail about individual students—including any investigations into individual student conduct—because of FERPA law,” Lazier said.
Community Notebook - 9/11-9/18 POLITICAL WATCH - 9/11-9/18 Community Corner - Say aloha to a new park in Nipomo Embark on a Nutrition Expedition Santa Barbara County revamps its dangerous dog penalties An amateur-built plane flips at the Santa Maria Airport Santa Maria business makes the top 500 for tax delinquencies