A 21st Birthday party took a turn for the worst Thursday night at 318 Palm Ave., after a fight broke out in front of the apartment complex and two men were stabbed. Ashland Police later arrested four men, Brett Hollins, Tyler Pascals, Philip Boches, and Anthony Mooney who were charged with assault and riot. Hollins who is accused of stabbing the two men faces three assault charges, while the others face one.
“This is the most intense witness of events I’ve experience in Ashland,” said Michael Bryant, a senior at Southern Oregon University, who lives in the neighboring apartment unit. At about 12:30am Bryant recalls asking those who were outside apartment C, where the party was taking place, if they could quiet down or move inside. Stating that “there was an appearance of compliance” he went back to his room. Twenty minutes later he was forced to return as the noise levels did not subside. At this point an argument erupted between a group of people who were yelling at the door which had just been slammed and locked.
According to the police report the tenants of apartment C, both SOU students, had tried to get the men to leave after the party grew beyond their control.
By the time Bryant was let into the apartment a fight broke out between the men outside. When he left the apartment again, two male victims had been stabbed. “One guy, standing up, no shirt, stabbed in the back. Another guy, laying against the fence, at least two stab wounds,” said Bryant. “The Palm C girls really lost control of their party.” He has only had to confront the tenants of apartment C on one other occasion about the noise level of their parties.
The four suspects initially fled the scene but police were able to locate them all within a few hours. According to Ryan Brown head of Community and Media Relations at SOU, none of the four men arrested were SOU students.
“This sort of thing is very rare in our community,” said Police Chief Tighe O’Meara in an email. While the party hosts will not face any police charges, O’Meara was unable to speak for any sanctions that the university could impose.
SOU students were alerted by email of the violent incident Friday morning at 2:49am, encouraging everyone to stay vigilant until the suspects were apprehended. Police responded quickly as another mass email was sent out at 3:09 stating that a suspect had been taken into police custody.
Attempts to contact the tenants of apartment C were unsuccessful.