Four members of the Dartmouth College football team, along with one Santa Barbara resident, were arrested in Isla Vista early Friday morning on charges of home invasion after they allegedly entered a residence on Del Playa Drive following a dispute at a party earlier in the evening.
According to the police report of the incident, Jason Murphy of Santa Barbara and several friends arrived at a party on the 6500 block of DP around 1:15 a.m. where Murphy allegedly got in an argument with two men. Murphy was told to leave and not come back, at which point he left and met up with a group of friends.
Brittany Parker, one of the residents, said Murphy became angry when she told him to leave, and he started yelling and swearing at her, refusing to leave the party. Parker said there was some pushing and shoving before party guests forced Murphy and his friends to leave.
At around 2:15 a.m., Murphy and about 20 friends – most of them members of the Dartmouth football team – returned to the residence and allegedly started an argument with the residents, who again told the group to leave. Murphy and four other men allegedly walked into the house through the closed but unlocked front door. Resident Stephanie Ligon said she was going to lock the door, but the men forced it open and began yelling and throwing cups of beer at the residents.
Several residents called the police, who arrived at the scene shortly after and apprehended several men. The victims identified Jason Murphy, Terrance Cunningham, Christopher Green, Stephen Jensen and Brian Osimiri as the men who had allegedly entered their residence after being told to leave. Cunningham, Green, Jensen and Osmiri are all on the Dartmouth football team.
John Lyons, head coach of the team, said he did not know about the incident as of Sunday night. He said several members of the team are at UCSB for the winter quarter as part of a nationwide exchange program that lets students temporarily transfer to other schools that are also on the quarter system.
“I’m certainly disappointed that our players didn’t think better than to get involved in a situation like that,” Lyons said. “It’s certainly not the kind of behavior we encourage in our players.”
In Murphy’s statement to the police, he said that during the original confrontation he was pushed to the ground and kicked in the head as he, Osimiri and four other friends were leaving the party. He said when he and his friends returned to the residence the fight was just verbal, not physical.
“There was no fighting when we came back; just a lot of yelling and shouting,” Murphy said.
Murphy did not leave the scene after the second altercation, opting instead to sit with Cunningham, who had been handcuffed and detained. He said he did not flee because he did not feel he had done anything wrong.
“I didn’t think anything was going to happen,” Murphy said.
The residents declined to comment on the incident, as did Jensen and Cunningham. Green and Osimiri were unavailable for comment.