USC

DPS response to a fight on Brittingham Field leaves injured student frustrated

The altercation between USC students and some outside visitors prompted concerns about campus safety.

A photo of Brittingham Field

A pickup soccer game between a group of USC students and non-USC affiliated players turned violent at Brittingham Field on Aug. 30, resulting in a student’s hospitalization.

The student, who Annenberg Media is identifying as Tony, said he and others involved were detained by DPS and LAPD at the Southwest Community Police Station following the incident. He then went to the LAC+USC Medical Center where he was treated for a nose injury he sustained in the fight, Tony said.

“This is not the first conflict we’ve had with non-USC people,” Tony said. “We always have to compete for the field with non-USC people and there [have] been several conflicts with them and other students who use this open field.”

DPS confirmed with Annenberg Media on Wednesday that the department is still investigating the incident that DPS is labeling as “battery” in the daily crime and fire log.

Tony, a 23-year-old international graduate student studying applied economics and econometrics, argues that DPS should prioritize protecting both USC students and Brittingham Field from outside visitors.

“DPS said if there is a conflict again, they will kick everyone out of the field,” Tony said. “Why would they do that? We are USC students. We have the power to use the field.”

Andong Shao, a Viterbi graduate student and friend of Tony, filmed and posted a video of the altercation on Instagram. As Shao describes, “three of them just punched Tony’s head, his feet and legs and [made] Tony [bleed],” and this prompted his friends to call the police.

Tony also said he considered hiring a lawyer and pressing charges but could not do so until DPS filed a police report of the incident. After several calls and email requests to the department, Tony said he visited the DPS office to file another report on Friday.

DPS then asked him to come again to their office the next morning, according to Tony. Instead, he visited Student Affairs to receive help moving the investigation forward.

A crime report of the incident was published on Thursday, nine days after the fight first occurred. The reporting officer collected witness statements from observers and members of both parties involved.

Lingchong Hu, a graduate student and Tony’s friend, said he has safety concerns at USC.

“Many told me that this school is not as safe as other schools. But I still chose to come here because I think it’s a great school,” Hu said. “I believed in the yellow [jackets] and in the DPS to protect our safety. But, what happened [that day] broke that belief into pieces.”