BY DAILY SPORTS EDITOR MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
and Managing Editor Gabe Nelson
Published October 14, 2008
LSA junior Steve Kampfer, a defenseman on the Michigan hockey team who was injured early Sunday morning in what his coach described as "an off-ice incident," was taken to the hospital with injuries after being thrown to the ground during an altercation near East Quad.
An eyewitness account and several sources place Kampfer at an assault that took place near the intersection of Church Street and Willard Street at about 2:25 a.m. Sunday.
University Police described the victim as a 20-year-old male University student from Jackson, which fits Kampfer's description on the Athletic Department's website. An LSA senior who witnessed the incident and described it in an interview with the Daily confirmed from photographs that Kampfer was the victim. He asked to remain anonymous for his protection.
University Police Lieutenant Robert Neumann said the victim was picked up and “body-slammed” to the ground by a man, who was accompanied by two other men. Neumann said police have a suspect, whom he described as a 22-year-old male University student from Ohio.
Because the assault is still under investigation and police have not yet arrested a suspect, police would not release the names of the victim and suspects.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said the perpetrator is suspected to be LSA senior Mike Milano, a redshirt junior on the Michigan football team. Milano, 22, is listed as a 5-foot-7, 196-pound running back from Rocky River, Ohio on the Athletic Department’s website. A former wrestler who wrestled for Michigan his first two years on campus, Milano walked onto the football team in spring 2007.
According to the witness, Kampfer and an unidentified friend were walking southward on Church Street when three unknown males caught up to them just past the intersection with Willard Street.
The man walking with Kampfer turned around as the group approached and said something the witness could not hear.
The witness said two of the men walked past Kampfer and his friend, shoving them aside, and then the third picked up Kampfer and slammed him into the sidewalk. Kampfer’s friend yelled at the group, but the men continued walking south on Church Street, the witness said.
He said Kampfer wasn’t moving and appeared to be unconscious after the attack.
The witness described the person who hit Kampfer as a short, athletically built blonde male. He said the attacker was accompanied by two other men with athletic builds and blonde hair. All three were wearing jeans and black shirts that read “Get Wet” in red or orange on the back, according to the eyewitness.
Police found Kampfer on the ground outside East Quad after responding to a call from an emergency phone, Neumann said. A fire truck was already on the scene when police arrived.
Police wouldn’t describe the injuries sustained. Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson said Kampfer will be out of the team’s lineup for “a while” and is currently missing class to recover from the injuries.
Berenson said Kampfer, a fourth-round NHL draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, would not be suspended after returning to the team.
“I can’t tell you that he did anything bad,” Berenson said. “He just was a victim.”
The Athletic Department has not yet released a statement on the incident.
Milano declined to comment on the incident.
--Managing Sports Editor Nate Sandals contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: The online version of this story went through several revisions after it was posted on Tuesday evening. While the Daily stands by the earlier versions, Daily editors made revisions throughout the evening to ensure that the information was conveyed in the most accurate way possible based on the sourcing of a developing story.