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Gunshot, punch result in two arrests: one a UNF track athlete

Connor Spielmaker

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Gallery photos courtesy of resident at The Flats

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UPDATED — 3/10/2015 at 11:33 a.m.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, UNF student Darius VanBlount was released from the Duval County jail March 8 at 11:49 p.m.

Victor Terrance Bermudez is still in jail, awaiting a court date set for tomorrow, March 11. His payment required for release is listed as $151,506. As of now, there is no timetable for the length of his sentence.

UPDATED — 3/9/2015 at 6:07 p.m.

Osborn Blount   Photo courtesy UNF Athletics

Osborn Blount
Photo courtesy UNF Athletics

The basketball player involved in the incident on Mar. 7 has been identified as Osborn Blount. According to a UNFPD report, he was punched in the face by UNF student Darius VanBlount. Victor Terrance Bermudez has been identified as the non-UNF student who shot the gun.

UNFPD could not find the gun that was used by Bermudez after deploying JSO K-9 officers, but witnesses said the gun looked like an AK-47.

VanBlount told police he owns a 9mm high point long gun with a laser attached, but denied having the gun on campus.

Bermudez has been trespassed from all of UNF property and The Flats.

UPDATED3/7/2015 at 7:10 p.m.

Sophomore track athlete Darius VanBlount arrested after this morning's incident at The Flats.

Sophomore track athlete Darius VanBlount arrested after incident at The Flats.
Photo courtesy unfospreys.com

Spinnaker has confirmed with the Duval County jail and Chief of UNFPD Francis Mackesy that the track athlete arrested after this morning’s incident is Darius VanBlount. VanBlount is a sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla. According to the release from UNF PR, VanBlount has been charged with armed burglary to a structure, battery, and resisting a police officer without violence.

UPDATED — 3/7/2015 at 6:00 p.m.

Spinnaker has received an official statement from UNF Public Relations (PR).

According to an email from Vice President of UNF PR Sharon Ashton, a non-UNF student fired a gun into the air as he left the apartment in question.

At least one player from the men’s basketball team was on the balcony of an apartment when an argument occurred between attendees at the party and people below. A few basketball players were in attendance along with other student-athletes.

The non-student and a UNF track athlete forcefully entered the apartment where the party was occurring. Witnesses say that the non-student had a gun. The track athlete then punched a basketball player in the face.

Both the non-student and the track athlete then ran from the apartment. That’s when the non-student shot the gun into the air.

Police were spotted at The Flats at 4 a.m. this morning.  Photo courtesy resident of The Flats

Police were spotted at The Flats at 4 a.m. this morning.
Photo courtesy resident of The Flats

UNFPD detained a number of students initially so the police could sort out the witnesses stories. UPD then caught the non-student and the track athlete and arrested both at the scene after witnesses identified them.

The track athlete is charged with armed burglary to a structure, battery and resisting a police officer without violence.

The non-student is charged with armed burglary to a structure and resisting a police officer without violence.

The basketball player is recovering from minor injuries to the face, but was not sent to the hospital.

UNF President John Delaney*, who was briefed by police shortly after the incident, shared his thoughts.

“Police are doing all they can to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “I am saddened that such an incident took place. At this point, police are treating the party attendees as victims. We have no information at this time of the need for any disciplinary action toward any other UNF student.”

The full release is below:

“The University Police Department continues to investigate an incident that occurred at The Flats, a university-owned apartment complex,  early this morning.  An argument broke out between attendees at a party. A few basketball players were in attendance along with a number of other student athletes from other sports.

Preliminary information indicates that at least one player from the men’s basketball team was on a balcony of an apartment when a verbal dispute began with those below.  A non-student and a UNF track athlete forcefully entered the apartment.   Witnesses say that at some point, the non-student had a gun.   The track athlete punched a basketball player in the face.  Both the non-student and the track athlete then ran from the apartment.  Witnesses tell the UPD that after the non-student left the apartment, he shot a gun into the air.

A number of students were initially detained at The Flats so police could sort out the stories of the witnesses. UPD and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office caught the non-student and the track athlete and arrested both at the scene after witnesses identified them. The track athlete is charged with armed burglary to a structure, battery, and resisting a police officer without violence.  The non-student is charged with armed burglary to a structure and resisting a police officer without violence.  The basketball player is recovering from minor injuries to the face and did not require hospitalization.

“Police are doing all they can to get to the bottom of this,” said UNF President John Delaney, who was briefed shortly after the incident by police. Other university officials, including men’s basketball coach Mathew Driscoll, did go to the scene while police were there.  “I am saddened that such an incident took place. At this point, police are treating the party attendees as victims. We have no information at this time of the need for any disciplinary action toward any other UNF student.”

UNF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll was seen at The Flats early this morning with UNFPD officers.

Around 4 a.m., a witness, a resident of The Flats, took photos showing Driscoll and multiple UNFPD units. The witness said that there were at least five police vehicles, and officers were seen searching under cars and in the surrounding area.

UNF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll was seen at The Flats early this morning with UNFPD officers. Photo courtesy resident of The Flats

UNF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll was seen at The Flats early this morning with UNFPD officers.
Photo courtesy resident of The Flats

The witness said he heard a fight had broken out inside a building where UNF men’s basketball players allegedly live. At least one person was seen being placed into a police car, though that person’s identity is unknown.

Spinnaker looked into all recent arrests from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, but none of the players’ names matched current records. Spinnaker also contacted JSO, who confirmed they received a call at 1:58 a.m. about a fight at The Flats.

Brian Morgan, director of Athletic Communications, declined to comment and referred Spinnaker to Sharon Ashton, vice president of Public Relations. Calls to Ashton were not immediately returned.

Spinnaker also called and sent texts to Driscoll, but he never responded. Lee Moon, athletic director for UNF, also didn’t answer when Spinnaker attempted to call him. Messages left to both were also not immediately returned.

* 3/7/2015 at 6:36 p.m. – Updated with correct source information.

For more information or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Gunshot, punch result in two arrests: one a UNF track athlete