May 1, 2001

Balch Hall Brawl Leaves Student in Jail, Awaiting Bail

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A Cornell student was arrested during the weekend on charges of assault after injuring a male visitor to campus in a resident’s room of Balch Hall.

John L. Boykin ’05 was arrested early Sunday morning after hitting a 19-year-old male “in the face with a glass bottle causing serious physical injury,” according to the Cornell Police (CUPD) morning report. The male was taken to Cayuga Medical Center by the female student he was visiting and received stitches.

The incident occurred following a previous encounter between Boykin and the visitor during the day on Saturday.


Angry words were exchanged between the two men that “apparently involved his [the visitor’s] girlfriend,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell news service. “Mr. Boykin allegedly continued the discussion in the middle of the night.”

Early Sunday morning, Boykin supposedly went to the room of a Balch Hall resident around 3 a.m. with a small group of males, intending to “confront a male visitor to campus,” according to a Cornell news release. A fight broke out at which time Boykin injured the visitor.

Boykin was charged with first degree assault, a Class C felony, criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing. CUPD is still investigating the incident and has interviewed most of the students who witnessed the incident. It appears that a couple of the men accompanying Boykin to the resident’s room may not have been Cornell students, according to Grace-Kobas.

“The fact is the male visitor was in the room and Mr. Boykin went to find him,” she said. “The second encounter does not appear to be an accidental one.”

Boykin was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and given a $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bail bond. Additional charges may still be filed by CUPD.

Archived article by Rachel Pessah