Originally published February 24, 2009 at 06:00a.m., updated February 24, 2009 at 01:05p.m.
Freshman psychology major Brynn Bewley faces charges of second-degree felony assault after allegedly attacking another student in a CU dorm.
According to a CU police report, Bewley was arrested after hitting Front Range Community College freshman Sydney Hollingsworth in Stearns West on Jan. 21.
“[It] is basically called a heat of passion crime,” Bewley said. “If I was convicted with the crime in court, it would carry a five year prison sentence.”
Hollingsworth suffered a perforated eardrum as a result of the altercation and may have permanent damage to her hearing, according to doctors.
While the police report states that Bewley and Hollingsworth gave different accounts of who was provoked first, the basic story remains the same: One girl hit the other in response to either a verbal attack or heated discussion that took place in the women’s boyfriends’ dormitory.
According to Hollingsworth, her boyfriend called the police after Bewley and her boyfriend left an intoxicated friend in the men’s dorm room.
Bewley said she stayed with the friend to make sure he was still breathing before she left him. Bewley said that when she left, she returned to her room and watched movies with a few friends.
“I never left Nathan alone and when I did leave him, he was sleeping, he was on his side, he was not vomiting, he was coherent when he was awake, and I sat with him for 15 minutes to make sure he was okay, at which point I left because I figured he was fine and that he just needed to sleep,” Bewley said.
She said she hadn’t been partying and that she wasn’t intoxicated at all the entire night. Bewley said Hollingsworth’s boyfriend, Camilo Florez, called the paramedics to check on the friend. The paramedics said the man didn’t need medical attention. Bewley said she went back up to Florez’s room where he started screaming at her, saying everything was her fault. She said she argued with him for a few minutes, then left the room. Bewley said Hollingsworth was not present that night.
The slapping incident occured a different night.
Hollingsworth said she was frustrated that Bewley supposedly yelled at her boyfriend about calling the police.
“I wanted to tell her, ‘It’s not cool that you yelled at him, and you don’t need to talk to him like that,’ ” Hollingsworth said. ” ‘I don’t really care what happened and what took place, but you don’t raise your voice to my boyfriend when he saved a kid’s life’ .”
Hollingsworth said that Bewley then proceeded to yell at Hollingsworth, slapping her left ear.
Bewley said the altercation started differently.
“She started screaming obscenities at me,” Bewley said.
Bewley said that she asked Hollingsworth twice to stop yelling before Hollingsworth swung her right hand at Bewley.
“I kind of backed away because I saw it coming,” Bewley said. “She hit the edge of my cheek, at which point my natural reflex was to swing back at her, and I slapped her back on the cheek.”
Both women agreed that after the alleged fight, Hollingsworth’s boyfriend Florez, stood between the two to separate them, and Bewley and her boyfriend Andrew Fontanese left the room.
In the police report, Hollingsworth said that she first thought Bewley’s fingernail cut her after the impact. However, she woke up the next morning to find blood leaking from her left ear and noticed that she was having trouble hearing. According to Hollingsworth, she went to her doctor and was told she could have hearing loss for the rest of her life.
However, Bewley said that she didn’t cause the injury.
“The number one cause of a perforated eardrum is an ear infection and also a consistency of exposure to loud music,” Bewley said. “Working in an exotic dance club, you would get that consistent exposure.”
Despite Bewley’s argument, Hollingsworth said she disagrees. She said that she is a full-time student who works part-time in retail.
“I started having the ear problems after she hit me,” Hollingsworth said. “There’s proof that it’s the air pressure that went into my ear that caused the breakage. The hole is too big for it to be from anything else.”
While the case has not gone to court yet, a preliminary hearing for it will take place on March 5.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mindy Rappoport at Mindy.firstname.lastname@example.org.