CHICO, CA (KHSL/CNN) - Tuesday, the US Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations filed a criminal complaint against Chico State fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha, or “Pike” as it’s called, and its president, Evan Jossey.
It started in late April when a witness said he met some of the fraternity brothers, including Jossey, in a forest. He said they introduced themselves by name and as members of Pi Kappa Alpha. The witness left as about 80 fraternity members were arriving, and days later, he returned to find more than 30 trees hacked down, with trash everywhere.
“It doesn’t surprise me too much,” said student Hayden Jovich, who had considered joining the fraternity before the incident. “Sometimes we get together in a group and do stupid things without thinking about it.”
On May 9, the US Forest Service put out surveillance photos and asked the public to help them identify persons of interest who were buying merchandise believed to be used in the vandalism, defrauding US territory and illegal possession of a firearm.
The gravity of these charges comes as shock to many fellow students, who say Greek organizations usually strive to be of service.
“Most of the time, I think they respect the community, try to give back and are respectful of our environment,” said a Chico State student. “Most of the time.”
Students agree that if their peers are responsible, they should face the consequences. They just hope that the punishment fits the crime.
“Let’s punish them by having them help out in some way,” Jovich said.
And it could get worse. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected to come.
Pi Kappa Alpha and Evan Jossey are scheduled to appear in court on June 26, 2017 in Redding, CA.
Copyright 2017 KHSL via CNN. All rights reserved.