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Old 01-24-2003, 01:15 AM
HotDamnImAPhiMu HotDamnImAPhiMu is offline
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fight kills fraternity member

SJSU student dies in frat brawl
By John Woolfolk, Elise Banducci and Roxanne Stites
Mercury News

Two feuding fraternities at San Jose State University faced off for a gang-style rumble in a park early Wednesday that left one student stabbed to death on his 23rd birthday and four others seriously wounded.

The fight broke out just after midnight at North San Jose's Flickinger Park among about 70 members of the Pi Alpha Phi and Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternities, whose longstanding rivalry boiled over after a dispute Monday night at a pool hall.

Authorities identified the slain man as Alam Kim, a member of the Lambda fraternity and a computer-science major from Los Altos who died from a single knife wound to the chest that pierced his heart.

Police Sgt. Steve Dixon said police didn't know who was armed or how many weapons were involved, but he likened the brawl to a fight between gangs whose members sport Greek letters instead of tattoos and bandannas. The deadly fight marred the university's first day back to classes after winter break, as investigators cordoned off the Pi Alpha Phi house and spent the day interviewing more than 60 people.

``We understand there were some incidents of egging, verbal taunts and some bad blood between them,'' Dixon said.

Police named no suspects in Kim's death and said those responsible were probably on the run.

Three others were stabbed and another was knocked unconscious, but all are recovering, including a 25-year-old man in serious condition at San Jose Medical Center with a stab wound to the back.

Earlier argument

Both fraternities opened San Jose chapters in the 1990s, promoting themselves as alternatives for Asian students. Police said the fraternity members got into an argument at a pool hall Monday night and decided to settle the dispute the next day at William Street Park, east of campus.

``We had no indicators this kind of thing was in the works,'' said San Jose State Police Chief Ric Abeyta.

Lucia Fagundes, 43, who lives in an apartment next door to the Pi Alpha Phi house, said she called police around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday over a noisy fight, which broke up almost as soon as she picked up the phone.

``There was all kinds of threatening. They were just calling each other bad names, screaming at each other -- `I'm going to kill you, I'll be back here,' '' Fagundes said.

Fraternity members from Pi Alpha Phi reportedly called brothers from their chapter at the University of California-Santa Cruz for reinforcements, police said. UC-Santa Cruz officials were investigating but said police had not confirmed that any of their students were involved.

The two groups drove to William Street Park but saw police in the area and headed 10 miles north to Flickinger Park.

Emergency calls poured in about 12:10 a.m. Wednesday from neighbors who said they heard screams from people at the park -- a common spot for football and soccer games but seldom any trouble, neighbors said.

Officers arrived to find about 20 people still at the park and many others fleeing. The five people most seriously injured had already been taken to hospitals by their friends. Kim died within an hour.

At San Jose State, members of other fraternities who were hosting pledge tables on campus said the Pis, known as ``Pineapples,'' and the Lambdas had been rivals for years, though none could say why.

``They never liked each other,'' said Jonathan Pingue, 20, an international business student and member of Zeta Chi Epsilon. ``This rivalry is not our thing. They just butt heads. We hear about it all over. There are some cool Pis and Lambdas, but everyone should just stop the hate.''

Loanne Nguyen, 21, a ``little sister'' at the Pi house, described the brothers as being into academics and Asian awareness, not violence.

``It's just a shock to me,'' Nguyen said. ``There's nothing wrong with them.''

University spokeswoman Nancy Stake said it was too early to talk about what would happen to the fraternities or their members.

``We have not been told yet what actually happened,'' Stake said. ``We need to have all the facts.''

San Jose State University President Robert L. Caret said he was ``greatly saddened by the tragic events.''

Angela Harper, coordinator of Greek life on campus, said she had not noticed any animosity between the fraternities.

``They are the two major Asian-interest fraternities on our campus, so I imagine there is some competition for members,'' Harper said. ``They operate in the same social circles, attend the same events and hang out with the same sororities.''

Students detained

Stake said students from the Pi Alpha Phi fraternity had been detained Wednesday, either at the chapter house or the police station, and were not allowed to go to classes.

Grim-faced Lambdas, many dressed in black and some with bandages, gathered at the fraternity's unofficial 11th Street house, hugging and crying. They retreated inside when approached and refused to speak.

The manager of an apartment complex across the street said he never had trouble with the fraternity.

``I was very impressed with them,'' said Don Bakich. ``Every time they have a little soiree, it's mellow. You should have seen the idiots that were there before.''

A few blocks away on Eighth Street, the gray Craftsman-style house that is home to the Pi Alpha Phi fraternity was empty and taped off by police.

Officers turned back a member who returned to retrieve belongings. The fraternity feud, he said, was about ``guy stuff, macho stuff.''

``We've had problems in the past, but it's nothing that has gotten out of hand,'' said the 23-year-old graduate, who still lives at the house but asked to remain anonymous.

Several neighbors described the Pi house as rowdy and said police were summoned regularly over noise and drunken brawls.

Detectives were busy throughout the day questioning more than 60 people, who spilled over into the police department's cafeteria and conference room. As of Wednesday night, nobody had been arrested.

Some left in paper jumpsuits after police confiscated their bloody clothing as evidence. One stood on the sidewalk waiting for a ride. He said he remembered being punched in the eye, but could recall little else. It was ``all a daze,'' he said.

Shock over death

Meanwhile, friends and students responded with shock to the news of Kim's death.

His friendly and assertive nature made him the perfect fit for his job as a party promoter, friends said. The Korean-American student was rarely seen on campus without fliers or pumping up a coming event. He even planned parties for Pi Alpha Phi, according to friends.

Roger Lwin, who ran Underworld Productions with Kim, described him as honest and a hard worker. He often helped his father at the small car-stereo and cell-phone store he owned in San Jose.

``He worked for his dad for eight years and never had a weekend off,'' Lwin said.

Kim was described by friends as someone who got along with a wide range of people, whose hearty laugh was contagious, and who was quick to smile and ask how things were going.

Getting stabbed in a brawl with a rival fraternity just didn't seem to fit with his nature, they said.

``I didn't think Alam would be involved in that,'' said another friend who asked not to be identified. ``There are always rivalries, but he wasn't like that.''

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Old 01-24-2003, 04:50 AM
pinkpixie pinkpixie is offline
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January 23, 2003

UCSC students involved in fatal frat brawl

SAN JOSE ó An early-morning brawl between rival San Jose State University fraternities left one man dead and four injured Wednesday.

Several UC Santa Cruz fraternity members joined the melee, according to San Jose police Sgt. Steve Dixon. None of the injured were from UCSC, campus spokeswoman Liz Irwin said.

Alam Kim, 23, of Los Altos died of stab wounds at 12:49 a.m., according to the Santa Clara County coroner.

Kim, whose birthday was Wednesday, was a student at San Jose State in fall 2002 but was not registered this term, said a spokesman at the registrarís office.

The fight started at a San Jose pool hall Monday night and escalated by midnight Tuesday to a brawl at Flickinger Park in northeast San Jose, police said. Thirty to 60 members of the San Jose State University chapters of Pi Alpha Phi and Lambda Phi Epsilon were involved, Dixon said. When police arrived, they found men fighting with knives, tire irons and clubs.

"Quite honestly, except for the lack of the tattoos, this is a gang fight," Dixon said.

"Instead of gang members, itís frat members."

Kim and three others were stabbed and one suffered a blow to the head. Wednesday afternoon, a 25-year-old man was in serious condition at San Jose Medical Centerís Intensive Care Unit. The other injured men were treated and released.

Police detained "20 some-odd" men but no one had been charged in connection with the stabbing by Wednesday night.

Dixon said itís still not clear what started the pool-hall dispute.

"They decided to get together and resolve their differences," he said. "Itís unlikely they were going to talk it out ó you sit down in a restaurant to do that. These guys were meeting at midnight in a park."

Both Pi Alpha Phi and Lambda Phi Epsilon claim to be the first Asian-American interest fraternities in the nation.

According to their local Web sites, Pi Alpha Phi was founded in 1926 at UC Berkeley and established a UCSC chapter in 1995.

Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded in 1981 at UC Los Angeles, the UCSC chapter began in 1992.

The UCSC students who may have been involved were members of Pi Alpha Phi, Dixon said. It was unclear how many UCSC students were at the park and whether they were involved in the stabbing. They likely were recruited by their fraternity brothers at San Jose State, Dixon said.

UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood said, "Clearly, this is a tragic situation, one that deeply saddens all of us who are dedicated to education and the success of promising young people.

"Whether our students had a substantive role ó or any role ó I want to emphasize that such violent behavior is completely intolerable," Greenwood said. "Should our investigations discover that any of our students were engaged in illegal activity or have violated campus policies, we will implement the student judiciary process and determine appropriate consequences."

Students at UCSC were tightlipped about the incident Wednesday, and no one from the campus Pi Alpha Phi chapter responded to requests for interviews. Students in other Asian-American groups also declined to comment. Students at the Maxine Hong Kingston-Jenny Lim Asian theme dorm at Oakes College declined to answer questions about the incident as well.

One student at the UCSC Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, who declined to give his name, said his group was still trying to figure out if any UCSC students were involved, if so, how many and whether any of the rumors they were hearing were true.

"Itís definitely been a random day," he said.

Rumors spread quickly through campus Wednesday that Asian American student organizations had postponed their yearly receptions because of the incident. The resource center representative said that some events were postponed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday but he wasnít aware of anything being postponed because of the brawl.

Likewise, it was difficult to get information about the fraternity itself, Pi Alpha Phi. It was started in 1927 at UC Berkeley, but the founding fraternity had no phone number listed, and soon after 1 p.m., the server on which the groupís Web site was posted shut down. Likewise for the national chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon, whose Web site shut down around the same time.

As of fall quarter, there were 22 members of Pi Alpha Phi at UCSC, said Irwin.

Though Greek organizations are relatively new to the UCSC campus, they have a history of community service, Irwin said, noting that brawls like the one Wednesday are unusual.

"Itís completely unacceptable, and a real shame for a few to do so much to dispel a fine reputation," she said.

Dixon agreed.

"Itís very rare," he said. "I canít remember something like this in 20 years."

UCSC is in the process of creating a campuswide Greek council, which will oversee the universityís fraternities and sororities.

Delia Rou, a graduate student and coordinator of the forming council, said neither she nor anyone else in UCSCís Greek system would comment on the incident until the San Jose Police Department issued a statement.

If the university determines a UCSC student was involved in the fight, they would be investigated by the UCSC Student Judiciary Association, and they could be suspended or expelled, Irwin said.

Itís unclear whether any disciplinary action would be taken against the fraternity itself if UCSC students were involved in the fight.

Contact Nicole Stricker at

Contact Heather Boerner at
Old 01-24-2003, 09:08 AM
White_Chocolate White_Chocolate is offline
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Are these local fraternities or national?
Old 01-24-2003, 09:38 AM
PM_Mama00 PM_Mama00 is offline
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Stan where are you? We wana hear a local resident's opinion.
Proud to be a Macon Magnolia!

Old 01-24-2003, 10:04 AM
DeltaSigStan DeltaSigStan is offline
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I'm not a local resident. That was in San Jose. I'm in San Diego.

But, something similar was going to go down between the two Asian fraternities here. It apparently spilled over from when a member of each group was in rival racing crews in high school
Old 01-24-2003, 10:05 AM
DeltaSigStan DeltaSigStan is offline
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Originally posted by White_Chocolate
Are these local fraternities or national?
They're both national, but asian interest.
Old 01-24-2003, 02:13 PM
amycat412 amycat412 is offline
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There is already a thread on this in Risk Management. Please post all further replies there.
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