Arrest made in the Oct. 9 punching of a preacher

Lawrence Lam

 

Colorado State University police stand around Ronald Underwood, who was punched on the Plaza, in the LSC on Oct. 9
Colorado State University police stand around Ronald Underwood, who was punched on the Plaza, in the LSC on Oct. 9

Colorado State University police have arrested and charged Kenneth Dominguez Valencia with third-degree assault in connection with the Oct. 9 punching of a preacher on the Lory Student Center Plaza, according to a police report.

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Dominguez Valencia, 20, is listed as a “transient” on the police report with an Aurora mailing address. He is not a Colorado State University student. A CSU police officer met with Dominguez Valencia on Oct. 13 at the Summit Apartments in Fort Collins, where Dominguez Valencia introduced himself and said he was the person who “punched that preacher.”

On Oct. 9 at approximately 2 p.m., CSUPD responded to calls from the Plaza regarding an assault. The victim, Ronald Underwood, said  he was preaching when a “black male” wearing a Seahawks jersey began to debate with him. Underwood also said Dominguez Valencia said, “I’m going to f*** you up, motherf***er.”

According to the police report, Fort Collins pastor Patrick Hegarty witnessed the event and said Dominguez Valencia used foul language, threw Underwood’s dry erase board under a tree and knocked off Underwood’s hat. He then proceeded to punch Underwood on the left side of his jaw.

Yunus Ozekin, another witness, said Dominguez Valencia only punched Underwood after Underwood said, “Go away and listen to your rap music,” at which point Dominguez Valencia hit Underwood repeatedly in the face before people in the crowd restrained him.

On Oct. 13, Dominguez Valencia, who identifies as Caucasian, confessed to the assault. He said on Oct. 9, he spent several hours in the Plaza talking to preachers and slowly began to feel insulted. He said he was called a “faggot” for wearing earrings.

Dominguez Valencia said he lost his temper after Underwood called several females in the crowd “sluts or whores.” He said he then reached out and slapped, not punched, Underwood.  Underwood fell off his stool and injured his mouth.

Afterward, Dominguez Valencia ran into the LSC and then into the Morgan Library, where he changed clothes and left campus. In the police report, he said he felt it would be easier on him if he came forward, since the media had already reported the story.

Police did tell Dominguez Valencia he could email his full account of the incident to them before his court appearance.

Dominguez Valencia has been charged with third-degree assault with a court appearance set for 9:30 a.m., Nov. 20, at Larimer County Court.

Collegian Reporter Lawrence Lam can reached news@collegian.com or on Twitter @LawrenceKLam.

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