Police: Four charged following altercation at Catawba College

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, September 8, 2015

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Salisbury Police have identified four men they say were involved in an altercation that prompted a campus lockdown at Catawba College early Monday.

Charged with simple assault and willfully inciting a riot, both misdemeanors, were Brandon Jamail Etheredge, 28, of the 200 block of West 11th Street; Dontaye Ervin Williams, 28, of the 6000 block of East Lake Forest Road, Charlotte; Phillip Ahmed Wilson-Hyman, 22, of Fort Bragg, Fayetteville; and Marqui Demone Ross, 22, of the 2200 block of Woodleaf Road.

Etheredge was issued a $7,500 secured bond and has since been released from the Rowan County Detention Center. Williams has since been released from the Rowan County jail under a $5,000 secured bond. Wilson-Hyman has since been released from the jail under a $5,000 secured bond. Ross remained in the Rowan County jail Tuesday under a $10,000 secured bond.

Catawba officials issued an alert via the college’s Twitter account warning students about possibly armed men on campus. Students were told to report to their residence halls, stay inside their dorm rooms and “shelter in place.” The alert was updated around 3:30 a.m. when the advisory to stay indoors was lifted.

It is unclear if an armed robbery reported earlier in the evening in the area near Brenner and Lantz avenues is connected to the suspects involved in the altercation. Police were dispatched to Catawba College just after midnight about suspects on campus with weapons. While en route to the campus, police were then told the suspects were on foot near Summit Avenue and Yost Street and later that the suspects left in a silver car.

According to Police Capt. Shelia Lingle officers were told a fight erupted at Woodson Hall among four to five men. During the altercation, one of the victims heard a suspect say “I got a piece,” but the victim said he never saw a handgun.

It appears several fights occurred on or near the Catawba College campus.

The college’s alert said the suspects identified themselves as Livingstone College students, but local NAACP President Scott Teamer said the suspects were not Livingstone students, and he protested the fact that several media reported the reference to the historically black college.

Teamer sent out a press release calling for a retraction and “an immediate explanation for the lack of investigation that led to Livingstone College being wrongfully associated and referenced in news articles over the past 20 hours concerning the four men arrested following the lock down at Catawba.”

The Post tried to contact Livingstone College’s spokesperson Monday and Tuesday.

Teamer said it was unfair to mention Livingstone students in connection with the incident. “Those people represent the best of black youth,” Teamer said.

Post files indicate that Ross and Wilson-Hyman graduated from Salisbury High School in 2011 and planned to go to N.C. Central University and Elizabeth City State, respectively. Williams and Etheredge both received GEDs from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in 2006 and 2005, respectively.

According to the N.C. Department of Corrections website, Ross was convicted of assault on a female and assault inflicting serious injury in September 2014 in Durham County, and was on probation.

Williams was convicted in March 2014 of possession of a schedule VI drug and consuming a malt beverage in the passenger area of a vehicle in Rowan County, and was also on probation.

Etheredge was convicted in 2010 of common law uttering, a misdemeanor.

No record for Wilson-Hyman appeared on the state corrections website.

In a statement, Catawba College President Brien Lewis said the suspects are not associated with Catawba College. Catawba College issued a no trespass order through the Salisbury Police for those arrested.

Lewis also said in his statement the college will continue, until further notice, to have armed law enforcement on campus as a precaution to supplement campus police.

Elizabeth Cook contributed to this story.

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