Two University of Rhode Island football players have been charged with disorderly conduct and simple assault following a fight early Sunday morning at Chi Phi fraternity that involved members of the football team and the fraternity. Six fraternity members were injured and three of the six required a transport to South County Hospital for treatment of injuries that included lacerations, broken noses, a fractured jaw and a fractured arm.
Michael LeBlanc, 20, of Charlton, Mass., and Barrett Lyons, 19, Belmont, Mass. were both arrested by URI police at the scene in connection with the incident that occurred Oct. 4 at 2:50 a.m. LeBlanc, a freshman, has been permanently dismissed from the team. Lyons, a freshman and a third player, Nate Pauls, 18, a freshman, of Hammonton, N.J. were suspended from the team indefinitely, pending the outcome of the police investigation. LeBlanc is an offensive lineman and Lyons and Pauls are defensive linemen.
Four additional players also have been suspended for Saturday’s home game against Delaware.
URI police are continuing their investigation and are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the fight to call Detective Mark Brasil at 401.874.5580.
“This type of criminal and violent behavior is not tolerated at the University,” said Stephen Baker, director of public safety. “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,” he added.
While patrolling the area of Fraternity Circle near the Weldin (residence) Hall early Sunday, police observed a large group of people outside Chi Phi fraternity and several individuals with injuries. Police stopped a black pickup truck that was leaving the area, and questioned six occupants of the truck. A seventh fled. Shortly after, Lyons and LeBlanc were arrested.
All seven football players were issued no trespass orders from Chi Phi and referred to the University’s judicial process, which can result in a range of sanctions from a reprimand to suspension from the University. Outcomes of judicial hearings are not public.
Police said the misdemeanor charges could be upgraded to felony charges, depending on the results of the investigation. An arraignment for LeBlanc and Lyons will be held next week.