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Three Miami football players, one other charged in relation to Theta Chi fight

<p>Community members gathered at the Oxford courthouse Tuesday to discuss the outcome of the external investigation conducted by the Oxford Police Department.</p>

Community members gathered at the Oxford courthouse Tuesday to discuss the outcome of the external investigation conducted by the Oxford Police Department.

Nearly three weeks after the incident was initially reported to the Oxford Police Department (OPD), four men have been charged in relation to the fight outside the Theta Chi fraternity house that resulted in multiple injuries, according to a Facebook post from OPD.

James Bomba, Dimitri Mitsopoulos and Terrell (TJ) Rush, the three Miami University students charged in relation to the fight, were all first-year students and members of the football team, according to a statement to The Miami Student from Carole Johnson, interim director of university news and communications.

Santiago Sandri, who is not a student at Miami, was also charged.

On Tuesday, Rush released a statement to WLWT, a Cincinnati TV station, saying he was not involved in the altercation and is not being brought up on charges.

“I have been cleared from any charges regarding the fight, and it has been proven I was not involved,” Rush’s statement read. “The detectives know, and I was not involved in any fight. I wasn't there. I walked up after the fact. I don't even know who was involved, but I know I wasn't. I have been wrongfully accused of the fight, and I have since then been cleared by Ohio detectives of fighting.”

But according to an email to The Student from OPD Lieutenant Lara Fening, this is not true. Fening wrote that Rush’s trespassing charges are current and will be updated on the Butler County Clerk of Court’s website tomorrow. 

Mitsopoulos no longer appears in the Miami University Web Directory or the official football roster. He has placed his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal, which allows him to be actively recruited by other universities.

The three men were suspended from all football team activities effective immediately and remain suspended from the program indefinitely, according to Johnson. However, Bomba and Rush remain on the official roster.

According to OPD, Bomba was charged with assault and criminal trespassing. Mitsopoulos was charged with two counts of assault, two counts of trespassing and one count of disorderly conduct. Rush was charged with trespassing.

Sandri is facing charges on two counts of criminal trespassing. Sandri and Mitsopoulos attended St. John’s Jesuit High School together in Toledo. According to Sandri’s social media accounts, he is a first-year student at Michigan State University.

According to OPD reports, on Oct. 2 – the night before the incident – Mitsopoulos and Sandri entered the Theta Chi fraternity house without permission and refused to leave. Theta Chi members reported “dragging” the two out after their refusal to leave. 

The next day, Mitsopoulos came back to the Theta Chi house with a group of 25-30 people. 

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Theta Chi fraternity members were confronted by the group – whom they identified to OPD as members of Miami’s football team – while sitting around a fire pit outside. The group of males asked the boys around the pit if they were associated with Theta Chi. 

According to the report, members of the group attacked the fraternity members before they had an opportunity to answer. 

Theta Chi members report getting beaten with their own golf clubs – some members even sustaining bruised ribs, mild concussions and eye injuries. Four Theta Chi fraternity members were taken to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital following the incident. 

Johnson said Miami has begun its investigation now that criminal charges have been filed. 

“Miami University holds its students to high standards of conduct and will not tolerate violence,” the statement read. “Students who engage in misconduct face student disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal.” 

This is an ongoing story. Updates will be provided as they become available.