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2 CCSU football players suspended indefinitely following off campus parties

NEW BRITAIN —  Two Central Connecticut State University football players have been suspended from the athletic department indefinitely.

The suspension was enacted Wednesday after the students reportedly confronted a neighbor for complaining about parties at the student’s off campus house.

Wednesday’s decision came just one day after the University had suspended a total of four football players for one game. All four students had been arrested Saturday when police said they broke up a party at their off campus home located at 64 Roxbury Road, in New Britain.

“It is a cause for concern which is why we responded to it as quickly as we could,” CCSU’s spokesperson, Mark McLaughlin, said. The two players not involved in Wednesday’s incident were suspended one game, assigned them each 10 hours of community service, and required that they each complete an alcohol awareness program.

The consequences worsened, however, for two of the CCSU football team’s wide receivers, Jose Garcia and Chika Chukwu, who reportedly approached their neighbor about her complaints of their recent parties, according to McLaughlin.

“The neighbor felt very uncomfortable about the encounter,” McLaughlin said about the incident. He added, “We don’t want our neighbors to feel threatened in any way it’s their neighborhood.”

The neighbor was said to have called both CCSU and New Britain’s police chief to tell them about the incident.

“My general sense was the intent wasn’t to be neighborly,” Chief James Wardwell said.

Chief Wardwell also said the department’s investigation into the situation is ongoing. He also said the September 9th party was the second that officers have broken up at the student’s Roxbury Road home.

Police said there was a party at the same location on September 2nd in which officers counted roughly 140 people at the house. Police ticketed the students living at the home that night.

“There was another very large party with estimates of 100 to 200 people so pretty much a repeat of what we were just there for,” Chief Wardwell described of the second party held just one week later.

Chief Wardwell told FOX61 parties in neighborhoods surrounding the CCSU campus are common at the start and the end of the school year, but said this year there have been more than usual.

Police records show that from August 24th to September 11th, 2017 police were called to surrounding campus neighborhoods 55 times for issues related to noise complaints, loud parties, or quality of life violations.

CCSU said they are also continuing their own investigation into Wednesday’s incident.

“We’re committed to the city, we’re committed to our neighbors,” McLaughlin said.

He explained at the start of each school year the school sends out conduct officers and athletic coaches into the neighborhoods where students typically live in off-campus homes. He said the intent is for the officers to education students on their obligations as neighbors in the community and what the consequences are if they don’t uphold those obligations.

New Britain police said they have upped patrols this school year to deal with the increase in off campus parties. Chief Wardwell said he’s added an estimated five extra officers on patrol each night from Thursdays to Sunday. He said the additional officers has cost the department roughly $7,000 over the first three weeks of the fall semester.