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One teen arrested, two cited after vandalism, fight at Fiji house, UNL police say
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One teen arrested, two cited after vandalism, fight at Fiji house, UNL police say

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Phi Gamma Delta fraternity Temporarily Closed, 8.25 (copy)

University of Nebraska-Lincoln police responded to the Phi Gamma Delta house on Wednesday night after a report of a vandalism devolved into a fight, according to police. Three teens were detained. 

One Lincoln teenager was arrested and two more were cited and released after a report of a vandalism at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house turned into a fight on Wednesday night, according to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police. 

Campus police responded to the residence at 1425 R St., commonly known as the Fiji house, after a caller reported an ongoing vandalism. 

UNL Police Assistant Chief Marty Fehringer confirmed to the Journal Star that three teens allegedly vandalized the fraternity house, causing damage to a window and several vehicles.

UNL suspends Fiji through 2026 for repeated alcohol violations

Fehringer said fraternity members detained the teens until police arrived.  

By then, Fehringer said, the incident had devolved into a fight that involved six to eight people. Once police restored order and conducted interviews, Fehringer said three non-UNL students were detained for their alleged roles in the incident. 

A 17-year-old boy was cited on suspicion of assault on a police officer, the only felony citation issued as a result of the incident. 

UNL police field belated report of sexual assault at Fiji house stemming from 2015

The teen, whom Fehringer declined to name, was also cited on suspicion of third-degree assault, resisting arrest, failure to comply, trespassing, minor in possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released upon citation but will be referred to Lancaster County Court to be charged as an adult, according to police. 

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer and two counts of criminal mischief — all misdemeanors. He was taken to the Lancaster County jail Tuesday night. 

And a second 18-year-old man was cited on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief and minor in possession of alcohol, according to UNL police. He was released Tuesday night, Fehringer said. 

No fraternity members involved in the fight were ticketed or detained.  

The Fiji house has become a lightning rod near UNL's downtown Lincoln campus in the weeks since a 17-year-old girl and university student told police she was sexually assaulted on Aug. 24 by a 19-year-old member of the fraternity, who has not been charged in the incident. 

Later that day, hundreds of students and unaffiliated activists gathered outside the fraternity house for the first of four consecutives nights of demonstrations that included chants, marches and calls for Fiji to be banned from campus permanently.

The house was also a target of vandalism in late September, when graffiti appeared on the front of the Fiji house and on a statue outside Memorial Stadium. 

The university on Tuesday suspended Phi Gamma Delta through 2026 for violating the university’s rules on alcohol use, stripping the fraternity of its status as a recognized student organization.

It's unclear if Wednesday's vandalism was related to previous controversies. 

Vandalisms at Memorial Stadium, Fiji house thought to be related, campus police say

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or awegley@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @andrewwegley 

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A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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