By Joel Wass
A Ryerson basketball player’s girlfriend claims she was assaulted by an opposing fan during the second-half of the Rams playoff basketball game at Carleton University Saturday.
“I was cheering and I stood up and the man behind me told me to sit down and then he put his hands on me and forcefully pulled me down,” said a tearful Keshia Williams, girlfriend of Ryerson shooting-guard Errol Fraser.
“He laughed in my face. We tried to get him to move.”
Williams said the alleged attacker refused to move following the incident after she asked him to change seats.
Williams was not physically injured during the alleged attack, but was noticeably distraught by the incident.
“She was emotionally scarred,” said Nadia Chang, Fraser’s cousin, who was sitting with Williams when the incident occurred.
Chang brought the incident to the attention of Carleton security after noticing Williams was upset. Dissatisfied with security’s handling of the situation, Chang then called the Ottawa police.
“Security saw that she was crying and that she was uncomfortable and they did not do anything,” said Chang. “I had to call the police — I had to.”
According to Chang, the alleged attacker left the Carleton gym after hearing the police had been called.
Two Ottawa police officers investigated the alleged incident, but said there was not enough evidence to press charges.
“The police told me that a neutral person said [the alleged attacker] only tapped me on my shoulder and told me to sit down,” said Williams immediately after speaking to the police.
“Because of that advice they are not going to do anything. I should have just slapped him. That’s what I should have done.”
Representatives from the Ottawa police declined to comment.
Despite Williams’ concern with how Carleton security dealt with the alleged incident, Drew Love, Carleton’s director of physical recreation and athletics said he was confident security dealt with the situation appropriately.
“I was made aware of the incident virtually immediately after it happened and I know campus security came in to interview everybody involved right away,” said Love. “Our responsibility is to ensure all appropriate steps are taken in incidents like these and I believe that happened.”
Love said this is the first alleged attack to happen at a basketball game during his tenure at Carleton. He also said the magnitude of the Ontario University Athletic East division semi-final game could have played a role in how both involved parties handled the situation.
“It was an emotional event,” says Love. “In a case like this their emotions got away.”
Fraser’s emotions almost got away from him when he was told of the incident following his team’s 70-57 loss. With his fists clenched and still in uniform Fraser stormed out of his team’s change room to question Williams about which Carleton fan had allegedly assaulted her.
Two days after the incident, Fraser had calmed down and said he and Williams would not be pursuing any further legal action.
“I don’t think the security guards at Carleton handled the situation properly,” said Fraser. But we’re going to forget about it and just move on.”