A male student was arrested early Thursday morning by Abilene police and charged with assault family violence.
Stephen Simmonds, senior finance major from Austin, was arrested Thursday at 1:45 a.m. and booked at Taylor County Jail.
Officers with the ACU Police Department and the Abilene Police Department responded to a report of a loud disturbance inside a residence in the 500 block of EN 23rd Street, west of campus. The APD officer on the scene contacted the victim at a separate address on 21st Street, according to a police report. The victim said his roommate had struck him several times on the chest, the report said. The victim ran from the scene because Simmonds was chasing him, police say.
The officer contacted Simmonds at his residence, and he refused to answer the officer’s questions, according to the report. Because the assault was alleged, and there was a threat of continued violence, the officer arrested Simmonds for assault family violence. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4000 fine.
Simmonds was released Thursday on a bond of $2500.
The victim and Simmond’s roommate, Graham Mask, reached out to the Optimist Friday afternoon.
“I understand what he did was out of line, but I still love the guy and definitely forgive him,” said Mask, junior business management major from Brownwood. “The next morning when he got out of jail, there were no hard or ill feelings toward me. He was completely apologetic, very sincere, and very sorry for what he did.”
Mask said he didn’t want the event to tarnish Simmonds’ reputation.