UPD investigates fraternity altercation

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on USM campus. Sunday morning’s altercation took place on the front lawn between two fraternity members.  Zachary Odom/Printz
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on USM campus. Sunday morning’s altercation took place on the front lawn between two fraternity members.
Zachary Odom/Printz

University of Southern Mississippi student Elijah Dollar was charged with aggravated assault Sunday morning. On the night of Saturday, April 5 in the midst of spring parties, Dollar and another male student became involved in a physical altercation at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon partnered together with Alpha Tau Omega to host a party at Taste, a bar in downtown Hattiesburg. Later, the party moved to the SAE fraternity house, where the stabbing occurred.

University officials said they were called to the fraternity house at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Officers immediately arrested Dollar for stabbing a fellow fraternity member and placed him in the Forrest County jail.
The weapon used by Dollar is still unknown, but officers reported no knives were used. Dollar was released Monday, April 7 after he was released on bail. Forrest County Sheriff Department officials said his bond was set at $25,000 and he is awaiting a court hearing.

Dollar made his first court appearance in Forrest County Justice Court on the morning of Monday, April 7. Dollar has been removed from the fraternity and is now a former member of SAE.

SAE member Kevin Inmon, who was the victim of the stabbing, was sent to Forrest General Hospital. He suffered multiple injuries, including a wound behind his clavicle, located three inches from some of the arteries in his neck, a 13-inch cut beginning at the back of his right arm and ending at his forearm and one cut on the left side of his head that required a staple. The victim’s injuries called for a total of 16 staples and six stitches.

Dean of Students Eddie Holloway said Dollar has been placed on interim suspension status. The status will prohibit him from attending any classes or taking part in any type of activity related to USM until he is given further notice by the Dean of Students office and the University Police Department. Afterward, a hearing will be scheduled in order to make a decision about whether or not Dollar will return to his classes.

“At this time, I await the final incident report from the University Police Department, as led by Captain Rusty Keys,” Holloway said. “But from all indications, unless there is more information, it appears that this is not a fraternity matter.”

He said the fraternity has no charges in this event or any similar occurrences in the past. Holloway said the altercation was a personal matter between the two men involved.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter President Michael Phillips issued a statement in regards to the incident. Phillips said the fraternity members are saddened by Dollar’s actions, and that the victim and his family are in their thoughts and prayers.

“We hope to move on from this situation better and stronger from it and are doing everything possible to cooperate with the UPD and the USM administration,” Phillips said. He said the fraternity hopes Southern Miss and the city of Hattiesburg will help Sigma Alpha Epsilon move forward and become a better organization.

The other members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have declined to comment on the case. The cause of the fight is unknown and the case is currently under investigation.