KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Western Michigan University football players are in jail thanks to the actions of a gutsy 20-year-old who did more than simply survive, she kept her wits about her, her eyes open and pretty much solved this case for police.
“I haven’t slept since then, I haven’t ate, I’m completely nauseous 24-seven, I’ve never felt so just like violated,” the woman who 24 Hour News 8 isn’t identifying at this time.
Having moved to town only a week ago, she was looking to make friends and gave her cellphone number to a woman she only just met.
Then Friday, she started getting texts from what she assumed was this woman and made plans to meet up here at the California West Apartments where she moved to be close to campus.
The knock came at the door.
“I cracked the door about an inch and I saw bandannas, sunglasses and two men holding a gun,” the woman told 24 Hour News 8. “I tried to shut the door as quick as I could, they forced themselves back in, they threw me over my couch, they told me they were going to slit my throat if I didn’t tell them where my money was and they kept asking for drugs.”
A friend who was in the apartment hid in the closet and called police as the men searched the apartment.
But soon she was forced into the bathroom by one of the men who hit her with a gun, and then demanded she take her shirt off.
“And I was like I’m not taking off my shirt and he was like take off your shirt before I blow your brains out,” she said.
She said the other robber told his accomplice to leave her alone and that made her think about whether there was some connection there.
They ransacked the apartment as she was in the bathroom before exiting out a sliding glass door.
As the two robbers left, a neighbor saw the fleeing men and took down a license number.
When police showed up, she called the number from which she had received the texts earlier that day.
“The voicemail that came up was like ‘hello, this is Bryson White’s phone,’” she said.
It also turned out that Bryson White had been sending this woman suggestive messages on Twitter earlier in the week and sent her his address, which led police right to him, she said.
Police would soon find 20-year-old Bryson White, a wide receiver from Ohio, and 18-year-old Ron George, a linebacker from Pennsylvania on campus in a car where they say they also found money and weapons.
Police would then execute a search warrant at Draper Hall, university officials confirmed.
“I was like let me put all these little things together and the police were there within the next hour,” said the woman who describes herself as “pretty tough.”
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Director Jeff Hadley said while the two suspects are held on home invasion, more charges could be forthcoming when the two are arraigned likely no later than Monday.
The pair were part of WMU’s highly touted incoming class, reported to be the best freshman roster in the MAC conference.
Coach PJ Fleck said the pair have been suspended pending the investigation and that he is “extremely disappointed.”
Fleck has a regularly scheduled game week press conference on Monday where it is likely he will further address the incident.
Saturday, Fleck released the following statement:
“Having heard this news early this morning, I took action to immediately suspend both freshman players indefinitely. We expect to learn more about these allegations today. I’m extremely disappointed and want to assure the community that this kind of conduct is unacceptable and does not represent the values of this team or this university.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.