Two brothers of UCF's Pi Kappa Phi fraternity were attacked, robbed and had a gun pulled on them by five men in front of their fraternity house on Oct. 15, a police report stated.
The victims were 19-year-old psychology major, John Jacobs, and 20-year-old political science and criminal justice double major, Zach Mouser. They had just gotten back from a social event with their fraternity that was downtown.
The suspects pulled up in a white Chrysler Town & Country and parked in front of the fraternity house around 3 a.m. according to the police report from a witness in the fraternity, Yave Mairena. The men got out of the car, leading Jacobs and Mouser to approach the men, said.
The police report stated there were five men involved in the attack. They were described as one black male, one white male and three Hispanic men.
The fraternity members originally approached the strangers because one of their fraternity brothers was attempting to back out his car, but stopped because he saw the men lingering somewhat behind his car. This is when Jacobs and Mouser approached the men, Jacobs and Mouser both stated in separate interviews.
When the fraternity members were approaching the men, Jacobs and Mouser both believe they saw a glimpse of two girls run into their backyard. They thought they may have come from the van.
Both Jacobs and Mouser said the five men "immediately began acting defensively.”
The fraternity brothers then tried to explain to the men that they had parked on private property and unless they knew someone in the fraternity, they were not welcome to park there.
Jacobs asked one of the men what the letters on the house said and when he had no response said, “If you don’t know what the letters on the house mean, you can’t park here. You know no one here.”
This statement escalated the situation, causing the black male to push Jacobs, who shortly followed by pushing the man back. The man jumped toward Jacobs, swinging at him. “One of the subjects struck John and began hitting him repeatedly, and approximately 15 seconds after the first hit, John heard what sounded like a gunshot,” according to the police report.
During that time, two of the suspects began attacking Mouser, who received several kicks to the body. Within 15-20 seconds of fighting, one of the men pulled out a gun.
“The black male backed up, yelled 'I got a fucking strap,' and shot at the ground," Yave Mairena, another brother from the Pi Kappa House, said in a statement from the police report.
While the fight was happening, Mairena and other members of the fraternity were talking at the front of the house and only noticed the fight moments before the gun was drawn. They proceeded to come from the front of the house to the parking lot in an attempt to de-escalate the fight, according to Mairena. By the time they got to the front of the parking lot, one of the suspects had then pulled the gun, shooting at the ground.
After shooting at the ground once, the fraternity members scattered away and the suspects got back into the Chrysler and "fled the scene, heading south on Khayyam Avenue," according to the police report.
Mouser said after the gunshot rang out, he then saw “two girls run from the backyard,” where none of the fraternity members were in the yard. The members were unsure if the two girls ran into the van and fled with the men or ran off into another house.
A few fraternity members, including Jacobs, said that they saw the girls originally get out of the white van before running into their backyard and then ran out after the gunshot, but no one witnessed where they went. Police have not made a statement about the girls' involvement.
At some point during the attack, one of the suspects stole Jacobs’ phone.
Police arrived on scene within a minute and a half of receiving the 9-1-1 call. The call was made by a fraternity member from Phi Delta Theta, which is the fraternity house right next door to Pi Kappa Phi’s house, after members heard the gunshot from their house. After making the call, a group of 15-20 Phi Delta Theta members went outside to see things for themselves.
When police arrived on scene, they got no written statements from any of the fraternity members and only took two verbal statements from Jacobs and Mairena. They talked to a few fraternity members from Phi Delta Theta but members of the fraternity opted to make no statements, according to the police report.
Jacobs sought no medical attention after the incident, but he is the only member of the fraternity that has been attempting to press charges.
“I woke up in the morning and couldn’t open my eyes,” Jacobs said, referring to being swollen from the attack.
Jacobs said police have not been keeping steady contact with him, only hearing from them when he contacts them. Twice he has called and police have stated that their system said Jacobs does not want to press charges. Jacobs has corrected them twice verbally and then personally went in to the station to demand to press charges.
“It should be noted that neither Yave [Mairena] or John [Jacobs] wanted to proceed with any criminal complaints, to include the battery on John,” the police report states.
Jacobs has continuously contacted police and has sent several locations of where his phone has been turned on.
Jacobs contacted a police officer about the locations, which the policeman supposedly stated, “An iPhone’s location is not accurate enough to be considered a reliable resource to go in and search someone,” said.
According to UCF PD statistics, there were three robbery incidents in 2018 compared to zero in 2017. Jacobs and Mouser both stated they feel as if UCF has not kept their word about making the students feel safe. The “Greek Ghetto,” as it is nicknamed, is home to at least 10 fraternity houses which hundreds of UCF students reside in.
Jacobs stated someone pulled a gun on a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member about a week or two prior to this incident. Mouser said he worries because Khayyam Avenue is a popular road for people to walk on and pass through.
"Because UCF is unwilling to expand Greek Row, it forces the rest of us to move into an unsafe neighborhood,” Mouser said.
Pi Kappa Phi has already taken the initiative to be more cautious. They put up several signs around their property for private parking, added more lighting, added a security system and are hoping to put some fences around the house.
“I wasn’t worried because we were lucky," Mouser said. "I can’t say the same for the next time this happens.”
This is an ongoing investigation. Police are still searching for the suspects.