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The State

Police May Charge Witnesses to Fatal Brawl

January 26, 2003|Caitlin Liu and Chris O'Connell | Special to The Times

SARATOGA, Calif. — Frustrated by what they say are lying witnesses and an apparent "code of silence" among fraternity members, police said Saturday that they may press charges against those who have made false statements about the bloody brawl between two feuding San Jose State University fraternities that left one student dead and several seriously injured.

"People who are lying because of their loyalties ... could be charged with accessory to murder," said San Jose Police Lt. Glenn McCourtie, commander of the Homicide Division. "We do have some individuals we can prove at this point who have lied."

He declined to say who he was talking about or to name possible suspects connected with the Wednesday melee at a San Jose park a few miles from campus. No one has been arrested.

About 100 people were involved, including 60 members of San Jose State's Lambda Phi Epsilon and Pi Alpha Phi fraternities, authorities say.

Both fraternities have been suspended by the university. Police do not believe Alam Kim, the 23-year-old art student and Lambda member who suffered a fatal stab wound to the heart, had been personally targeted.

On Saturday, more than 500 family and friends of Kim attended a Buddhist memorial service in Saratoga. "Alam would have been very happy to see all his friends in one place," said his older brother, Hangil Kim.

Kim's fraternity brothers as well as members from chapters at Stanford University, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz did not speak at the memorial service and declined to comment.

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