ALFRED, NY (WENY) -- Police at Alfred State College are investigating the assault of a student early Sunday Morning.

According to a statement from the college, the student was walking back to campus when they were allegedly attacked by four people. The college says a witnesses called police, and officers arrested the four suspects.

The student was seriously injured, and is in the hospital. Their condition was not provided.

University police charged Eric Plante, 19, Jayson Lewis, 20, William Blye, 20, and Moses Scharborough, 19, all of Elmira, with 1st degree Gang Assault, a felony. All four were arraigned and sent to the Allegany County jail in lieu of bail.

The four men are not students at Alfred State.

Below is the statement issued to the Alfred State community from President Steven Mauro: 

Dear Alfred State College Community,

Early this morning, a student was assaulted and seriously injured while walking back onto our Alfred campus. A witness reported the incident resulting in University Police Officers responding within seconds to render aid and take the four suspects responsible, all non-students, into custody. The suspects, who face felony charges, were arraigned before a judge and remanded to the Allegany County Jail in lieu of bail.  The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Members of the college’s administration are actively in contact with the family as we show support and solidarity for a member of our community. We recognize that any situation of violence is unsettling in our small campus community and village.  Staff at Health and Wellness Services can provide support if you feel your own well-being is impacted.  You can contact them at 607-687-4200 or by going to T.A. Parish Hall during open hours. 

We are grateful to the witness for immediately reporting the incident and to University Police Officers for standing at the ready, both last night and as a normal service 24/7. You can partner in efforts to keep yourself and the Alfred community safe by following these steps:

  • Have a phone ready, close at hand, to call police at 911 if confronted by aggression.
  • Be vigilant watching for unknown persons following you onto campus.
  • Travel in groups of two or more using the buddy system. 
  • Our residence halls are locked 24/7.  Upon entering residence halls, make sure doors lock behind you and are never accidentally left ajar.
  • Once in your room, make sure your door is locked.
  • Report any suspicious persons or circumstances to University Police immediately – 911 (emergencies) or 607-587-3999 (general #)
  • While Alfred is a small tight-knit community, do not be complacent about your safety- here, or anywhere.

Our student did not deserve to be assaulted, and no form of violence is ever an acceptable response to anything for any reason. The perpetrators of this assault, like anyone who commits violence, will be held accountable in the criminal justice system. 

Collectively, we stand in support of our student, who has been hospitalized and is receiving medical treatment, and support for their family. Out of respect for the family and to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, we are unable to share more information at this time, but we appreciate your prayers to our student, family members, and others who have been impacted by this terrible incident.

Steven Mauro, Ph.D.
Alfred State College President