Police use taser on Notre Dame student

By: Nick McGurk Email
By: Nick McGurk Email

It’s not clear whether Benjamin Ashenburg will file a lawsuit against Excise Police or South Bend police; his lawyer did not respond to numerous phone calls on Wednesday.

What is clear, though, is Ashenburg faces multiple charges for Saturday’s incident. Those include: disorderly conduct; minor consuming; resisting law enforcement; and battery to a law enforcement officer.

Here’s what police say happened.

Just before 5 a.m. Saturday, Excise Police forced the door open to Ashenburg's apartment, where 37 people would eventually be arrested. Even after getting a warrant to enter the apartment, police say those inside did not let police in.

The party, Lt. Tim Cleveland with Excise Police said, was “pretty out of control.”

When excise police finally forced their way into Ashenburg's apartment, they say the lacrosse player was trying to videotape some of the arrests on his cell phone.

They say they asked Ashenburg to stop, and as they approached, police say he took a swing at one of the officers.

Police said as three Excise officers were fighting with Ashenburg, one of the officers used a taser, though police said it did not work properly.

At some point in the scuffle, Ashenburg allegedly hurt an Excise officer who ended up in the hospital with a potentially torn ligaments in his knee.

South Bend police arrested Ashenburg – and at some point in that process he allegedly struck a city officer.

That incident isn’t the only one that has students talking.

"I'm scared to death to go out and socialize or do anything, just cause for no apparent reason I could end up in jail that night,” said Dan Trumble, a Notre Dame senior.

Since July, more than 100 arrests in connection with underage drinking have happened in South Bend; many of those arrested have been students at Notre Dame or St. Mary’s.

South Bend police do acknowledge they are mostly arresting—instead of citing—for underage drinking situations.

“Since I’ve been at school it's been getting more and crazy with punishment for underage drinking and that seems crazy to me,” said Kelsey Conlon, a senior at Notre Dame.

The incident at Clover Village will likely get disputed in court.

Meantime, Notre Dame spokesperson Dennis Brown released has released this statement:

"We clearly don’t condone underage drinking or gatherings that infringe on the rights of others. At the same time, the welfare of our students is our highest priority, and we have concerns about the handling of some recent incidents that we are actively addressing through appropriate channels."

Police say they're not cracking down any more than usual. Still, Notre Dame students say the perception is exactly the opposite.

"Maybe if they were to write citations as opposed to flat-out arresting, that might be a better way to go about it, and it might not make the students as angered as they are toward South Bend Police,” said James Slaven, a Notre Dame freshman.


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