ASU student arrested after 2 burned at party

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Christine LaCroix

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 29 at 2:43 PM

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police arrested a 21-year-old Arizona State University student accused of throwing a bottle of liquor into a bonfire, which burned two people at a house party near campus.

Andrew Kent was arrested Monday night and booked into the Maricopa County Jail. He is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of endangerment. His bond is set at $15,000.

According to police, a 17-year-old high school girl from California who was visiting the university on a recruiting trip and an 18-year-old female ASU student were invited to an off-campus party near University and Hardy drives.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Pooley said the party was held at a residence where several ASU students live and many of the people in attendance were fraternity members. He said there were several hundred people at the party, which started Friday night and lasted into the early morning hours Saturday, and that a lot of underage drinking was taking place.

Police said while at the party Kent threw a bottle of liquor into a large bonfire, which exploded and sent flaming liquid onto the two victims.

The 17-year-old sustained very serious burns to both of her legs and the 18-year-old sustained very serious burns from the back of her shoulder to the back of her legs.

The younger victim immediately rolled on the ground and others helped extinguish the flames. But after that, police said fraternity members escorted her out of the party and down the street to wait for paramedics.

"When the girls got injured, what these partygoers wanted to do more than anything was protect themselves," Pooley said. "What they wanted to do was cover up everything that was going on."

The 17-year-old's parents flew in from California on Saturday and called police from the county burn unit.

Pooley said the older victim left the party and went to get initial treatment from her father, who is a firefighter. She has since sought medical treatment.

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