Alpha Delta Pi denies involvement in assault

Victims of an assault at The Villas on Sycamore on Oct. 10 claim they were attacked by members of Sam Houston State University’s Alpha Delta Pi chapter.

Sophomore dance major Emma Hunter and Jaimie Lawless, 23, told Huntsville Police Department they were attacked by students affiliated with the sorority. However, SHSU ADPi Chapter President Martheya Nygaard and ADPi International President Tammie Pinkston deny the allegations that the assailants were sorority members or pledges.

According to Lt. Jim Barnes, HPD will begin its investigation today. The dean of students’ office and ADPi International are conducting their own investigations as well.

According to Lawless and Hunter, the two were out party hopping late Friday night when they were invited to a party at The Villas on Sycamore. When they arrived, they were reportedly questioned by partygoers and told to leave after 15 minutes.

“We were just trying to have a good time,” Hunter said. “We were not trying to cause [them] any grief. About 15 minutes [after we arrived], they start screaming, ‘everybody we don’t know, get the fuck out. You’re not wanted here.’”

As the two were leaving, Lawless claimed she was “sucker punched” in the back of the head and then pummeled by three to four more people.

“I had a giant gash,” Lawless said. “I have perforated ear drums, and there’s creaking in my rib cage. I also have three giant knots. I have to have and MRI and a chest scan. They did harm to me and if they had taken it any further, I would be dead. The organization does need to be held accountable for it.”

Hunter later joined in the fight to help Lawless, who she said eventually collapsed.

The party was not affiliated with Alpha Delta Pi, according to Pinkston.

“We’re very troubled by these serious allegations, and have been investigating this on our own for the past few days,” Nygaard said. “We do not see any ADPis on the disturbing video footage sent to us, and eyewitness accounts confirm that none of those involved were ADPi members. Only one ADPi new member was at the party earlier that evening and left before the assault took place.”

As the incident progressed, multiple HPD officers were dispatched to the scene under reports of mutual fighting, according to Barnes. However, no report was filed that night. Barnes said the reason no report was filed by on-scene officer Cody Perkins will come out as the investigation goes on.

However, Nygaard said the reason was none of the parties involved wanted to file charges then.

“The Huntsville police were there that evening and decided that it was a mutual fight involving intoxicated people, none of whom wanted to file charges at the time,” Nygaard said. “We hope that with the help of the Huntsville police, justice will be served quickly.”

Both Lawless and Hunter claimed they were attacked by “at least a couple members” of ADPi. They said they know this because they saw partygoers perform the ADPi hand gesture as they arrived.

Pinkston said while there was an ADPi member at the party, she was not involved in the fight.

“Based on what we’ve been able to uncover in our investigations, only one ADPi new member was present at the party that night, and she left before the assault began,” Pinkston said. “The party was at an off-campus apartment and was attended by a mix of non-Greek and non-SHSU students.”

A deluge of rumors about the fight flooded various social media, including Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after Lawless posted on Facebook calling out the sorority. Because of the nature of some of the posts directed at ADPi’s Twitter and Facebook accounts about the fight, the SHSU chapter was advised by their international affiliation to suspend the accounts until the investigation was closed.

More information will be made available as the investigation goes on. Follow the Houstonian for continuous comprehensive coverage.

There are 0 comments

  1. JustTheFactsMa'am

    She's convinced it's ADPi because a couple of people made a hand gesture at the beginning of a party? These two seem intent on smearing an organization, rather that actually finding out who their exact assailants are. Don't get me wrong - no one should have hit them, and they should not have hit anyone else either. But their first act - days before going to the police to file charges - was to try and get the chapter in trouble with its nationals and post it all over social media, saying it was all ADPis and it was "6 on 1". Now it's two or three. I hear the video has been sent to the police and it shows who was doing the "mutual fighting", and eyewitnesses that say Lawless was instigating, well into the fight. Something doesn't add up here.

    1. Bearkitten22

      You're absolutely right! From everything I've heard, including this article, Lawless and Hunter have changed their story so many times. Her claim about being "sucker punched" in the head as she was leaving is an outright lie. Witnesses there saw her yelling and instigating well before any physical violence broke out. I'm not saying she deserved it, violence is never right. But the way these 2 women have gone about handling this situation is just hateful and shows what kind of character they truly have. They have a right to be angry, but slandering an entire organization that had no involvement and spreading boldface lies is not the right way to get justice.

    2. A concerned citizen

      I am pretty sure that all parties in this are telling some truths and some false here. DONT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR or READ, media blows everything out of proportion to get you to watch or read their stuff. The fact that the investigation is not over bythe ADPis and they are proclaiming innocence is a little premature dont you think? Lawless was indeed hurt and hurt badly, no one deserves this, whether they instigated it or not, was this a gang fight where people WERE trying to kill each other?. The police investigation will be the end of it and will be what is entered into record, not comments on here, not any news report, not the school's report. People need to grow up, be patient and wait for the final outcome. Yes Lawless should also do that but she is physically hurt and I am sure she believes someone should pay (not financial, well maybe) for it. I know I would, wouldn't you?

  2. Bearkat101

    Sounds like this girl is just hoping it was a member of ADPi... While this is a terrible act and my heart goes out to this girl, I'm not fully convinced the sorority was involved. The story keeps changing. However, I do hope they get to the bottom of it and this girl gets the justice she deserves, but not at the expense of someone else if they happen to be innocent.

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