By Jessica Reed
A brawl erupted in the Babylon Student Center at 4 pm Thursday. According to Suffolk County Police officials, the fight broke out in the cafeteria between a group of students and off-campus visitors. Several students who witnessed the scene unfold said the fight quickly escalated into a sprawling melee involving more than half a dozen people.
One student who didn’t want to be recognized for fear of reprisal said the scene prior to the fight was a calm one with students eating, conversing and studying. One student was struck on his face with a padlock, Suffolk Police say, and was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Campus Security officers were present when the fight started and rushed to intervene. A brief lull in the fighting occurred when a security guard ordered the combatants to stop, before the altercation continued.
According to several eyewitnesses, the brawl didn’t end until one person attempted to throw a chair at another combatant fleeing the scene. The identity of the individual remains unknown at this time, according to Suffolk Police.
“I am from Medford, and nothing goes on in my town. I had never seen a fight like this before. It’s my first time seeing a fight on campus before,” Freshman Ashley Dibble said.
Students were forced to evacuate the building for a half-hour due to the incident. Other students were overheard asking questions as they evacuated the building, among them, “What happened?” Immediate student reactions to the event ranged from being upset over the fight to being frightened over the incident. Five cop cars were lined up outside the Babylon Student Center, along with two ambulances around 4:35 pm.
Suffolk police say that an investigation of the incident is underway, and asks anyone with information to call 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept anonymous.