EUGENE – In an attempt to enjoy the rare coat of snow blanketing the University of Oregon campus last Friday, the football team challenged fans to a light hearted snowball fight that somehow devolved into an unruly and dangerous attack.
Students blocked traffic, swarmed cars and let loose with barrages of snowballs at drivers attempting to get through campus. A bystander recorded some video of the incident and posted it on YouTube. By the end of the weekend, university police and the Dean of Students office were working in concert to identify some of the students in the video.
A police department spokesperson confirmed that after watching the video footage, a sergeant believes students may have been committing criminal offenses including disorderly conduct or harassment.
Ducks’ tight end Pharaoh Brow was suspended for his role in the snowball attack and will not be participating in this year’s bowl game. He issued the following statement: “I was one of the many UO students involved in the snowball fight on Friday, and my actions escalated to an inappropriate level and, for that, I sincerely apologize. We never should have engaged innocent people, and I deeply regret my actions and will accept the consequences.”
One of those “innocent people” was a retired art history professor en route to donate paintings to the campus museum. The video shows him getting out of his car to confront students….who in turn, pelt him with additional snowballs.
Another victim was university employee, Kathrym Mayfair who described the scene this way: “There were probably 100 to 200 students, a select few leading the charge. They stopped my vehicle, pelted it with snowballs packed pretty hard like iceballs. It sounded like a rock hitting the windshield driving down the freeway.” She also said a group of people attempted to dump a bucket of snow into her car when she rolled down the window.
Dean of Students Paul Shang said “I’ve looked at the video repeatedly. We’ll certainly be persistent identifying students and talking to them about their conduct.”