Student Hit, Kicked and Cut With Knife Inside ASU Dorm Room

MARCH 4, 2004 -- Posted at: 11:15pm

JONESBORO, AR - Hateful fliers began showing up on walls and doors inside of Arkansas Hall on the Arkansas State University campus last fall after honor students from Delta Hall were moved to the 4th and 5th floors, forcing those that were currently there out of their rooms. Frustrated students decided to focus their anger about current and proposed living situations on honor students who are thought to be homosexual by writing threatening posters and letters to them.

"I think that honors should be allowed to have their own at least section of the dorm if not their own dorm," said Chris Suttles, an honor student living on the 4th floor.

Then the hate messages extended to all homosexual students. Suttles has been vocal about the situation from the beginning, and that made him a target. On Monday, Chris Suttles said he opened his door, and two men forced their way inside. They hit him and kicked him. It lasted for 45 minutes.

Suttles explained, "They cut me three times over here, and then once on my forehead and nose and over here. Every time I would yell out, they would saw up and down with the bow knife, so I learned to shut up pretty quickly."

It didn't take long for students of Arkansas Hall to learn about the attack. University police officers have been seen inside Arkansas Hall. Nikesia fuller saw them twice in two hours earlier in the week.

"I see them patrolling the parking lot, but I don't seem them walking the halls, but they've been walking the halls and in and out the dorm here lately," explained Fuller.

There is a university policy regarding hate crimes. Doctor Rick Stripling, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs said it's as simple as this: it's not acceptible, and it won't be tolerated. Threats similar to this have happened before, but never to this extent.

"Anything that involves our students especially in their educational and academic pursuit is always an issue, and bringing a quick resolve to it is paramount," said Doctor Stripling.

University leaders and ASU investigators continue their search to find who wrote the letters and who attacked Chris Suttles. Nothing like this has ever happened to him before, and by speaking out, he hopes it won't happen to anyone else in his dormatory. Suttles explained that he works hard at academics, and in turn deserves the same rights and priveleges as other honor students.

Suttles explained, "I think they would like me to go, but I'm not going to."

The victim hopes other students in the dorm will also stay. He admits victim is concerned about their safety, but doesn't think anything else will happen. Security patrols have increased until university investigators are able to find and arrest the two men who are violently acting out their opinions on others.

"I would just say that this is the same as beating up someone who's black. The same thing as beating someone up who's Asian or just because they're different from you doesn't mean that it's acceptible in any way," added Suttles. "So, I hope they learned their lesson. I think they expected me to learn mine, but the only lesson I learned is that speak out louder against bigotry."

Suttles told investigators that both suspects stand about 5'7". One weighs about 150 pounds, has shaggy blonde hair and bites his finger nails. The other weighs about 180 pounds and is left handed. He was wearing a stocking hat at the time of the incident, but Suttles said he has dark eyebrows.

Investigators believe the two suspects may live in Arkansas Hall. If anyone out there has any information regarding this case, call your local police department.