Arrests Made in Clark Kerr Robbery


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Analysis Podcast: Clark Kerr Robbery

Listen to University News Editor Vincent Quan and City News Editor Will Kane discuss the recent arrest of two former Cal Football players in relation to last month's robbery at Clark Kerr Campus.

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Correction Appended

Angered by a reported racial slur made by a member of Cal men's crew, a Cal football player and his former teammate broke into a Clark Kerr dorm room in late September and robbed two other rowers in a case of mistaken identity, police said Tuesday.

UC Berkeley sophomore R.J. Garrett, 21, and junior Gary Doxy, 21, were charged and arrested Monday on suspicion of robbery and attempted robbery, according to campus police. They await a plea hearing.

Early in the morning on Sept. 30, police say Garrett and Doxy entered an open kitchen window in a suite in Building 17 on the Clark Kerr Campus and used a BB gun to hold up freshmen Jonathan McGraw-Bentley and Steve Giahos. Both victims are 19 years old and members of Cal men's crew.

Police said the robbery was a response to a number of offensive racial comments that were made by another member of the crew team at a Sept. 27 party. An unidentified women's basketball player, who is black, was upset by the remarks, campus officials said.

The unnamed member of the crew team who made the slur was drinking at the time, police said, and has since been suspended from the crew team. Campus officials have not released the name of the crew member because no criminal charges have been filed against him.

Police said both Garrett and Doxy heard second-hand about the remarks and decided to retaliate against the crew member.

However, the two victims were not the intended targets and were outside the party when the controversial comments were made, police said.

Both McGraw-Bentley and Giahos began suspecting that the break-in was targeted soon after the crime took place, said freshman Joe Wiley, a suitemate of the victims.

"They said that it was strange that (the robbers) knew exactly what they wanted and whose it was-to get them to undo the lock on (the laptop)," he said.

Giahos declined to comment. McGraw-Bentley could not be reached for comment.

Garrett, a fullback, was dismissed from the football team Tuesday, said Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. Doxy was dismissed from the team over the summer for violating team rules, which Barbour would not elaborate on.

Doxy was involved in a 2005 incident that left Berkeley High School alumna Meleia Willis-Starbuck, 19, dead. He was grazed by a bullet during the incident, in which Willis-Starbuck's friend Christopher Hollis shot into a crowd that was allegedly harassing her.

Both Garrett and Doxy were arrested Monday at the UCPD station in Sproul Hall after the police requested that they come to the station, said UCPD Lt. Doug Wing.

Both Garrett and Doxy posted their bail and have been released from jail.

Garrett, Doxy and the unnamed crew member who allegedly made the slur will all face student conduct charges, Barbour said.

Garrett was also arrested on charges of possession of an illegal, stolen weapon that is unrelated to the robbery.

Barbour said officials from her office would be meeting with the head coaches of all athletic teams in the coming days to discuss the incident and athletes' response to the allegations of racial tension. Barbour said she was confident that despite its racial overtones, the incident does not reveal a problematic relationship between the two teams.

Barbour said she was not aware a current and former athlete were suspects in the case until Oct. 19.

Cal football coach Jeff Tedford said he was not told until Tuesday that Garrett, who has seen limited playing time this season, was arrested.

He said that despite the incident, he still thought there was a close relationship between all the athletic teams.

"The environment here-we have a lot of teams here-it's never been better; the camaraderie amongst men women, different sports, cultures ... I see everyone getting along great," Tedford said.

Vincent Quan of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.


Correction: Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday's article "Arrests Made in Clark Kerr Robbery" said the party where a racial slur was made took place on Sept. 17. In fact, it took place on Sept. 27.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Will Kane is the city news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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