Police: No report for Colorado branding incident

Two Colorado law enforcement agencies said Thursday afternoon that they do not have an incident report concerning an alleged assault of a Kappa Sigma fraternity member more than two weeks ago.

Amon “Chance” Carter IV, a sophomore pre-business major and great-grandson of Fort Worth icon Amon G. Carter, said he consented to being branded on his left buttock with a fraternity symbol on Jan. 9, the last night of a ski trip in Breckenridge, Colo. Carter said he sustained second- and third-degree burns from the incident, adding that he plans to receive at least six laser treatments to reduce scarring.

Kim Green, public information officer for the Breckenridge Police Department, said no official police report has been filed at the department. She said there has been no contact from Carter’s family or their attorney. Police cannot launch an investigation until it’s determined whether the incident occurred in the department’s jurisdiction and who was involved, Green said. The incident could have occurred in the jurisdiction of Summit County Sheriff’s Department, she said.

Tracy LeClair, public information officer for the Summit County Sheriff’s Department, said she could find no records of a report relating to the incident.

The Carter family’s attorney, Kathryn Craven, said the family doesn’t have enough information to decide if they will file a complaint, but investigations are under way.

Craven sent a letter to numerous officials and organizations, including the Summit County District Attorney’s office, this week requesting an investigation into the incident. Attempts to contact the Summit County District Attorney on Thursday were unsuccessful.

However, Carter said Thursday he will most likely pursue criminal charges.
Carter said the people at the Jan. 9 gathering, including himself, had been drinking. Carter said he consented to the branding after his friends talked him into being branded with the last line of the Sigma symbol in the Kappa Sigma, which had already been branded on him during a spring break trip in 2009. He said he was not supposed to be branded with any other symbols.

Carter said he blacked out, and when he woke up the next morning, he noticed his shirt was ripped and he had bruises on his body. Carter said he did not remember the incident but was told by a friend that he “flipped out” after the branding. The bruises and rips were from the fraternity members trying to hold him down, he said.

“It doesn’t all make very much sense because I would never consent to having a brand on my other side done; it’s literally about four times as big as the original one,” Carter said. “The bottom line is they talked me into consenting to that, and I knew what I was doing, and then I blacked out, and they probably talked me into the rest of that, which I don’t remember whatsoever agreeing to or anything.”

Earlier news reports offered conflicting versions about the incident. In one version, Carter was passed out during the branding, and in another version, Carter put up a struggle during the branding.

Carter said that even if he had consented to the extra branding, his fraternity brothers knew that what they were doing was wrong. He said his fellow fraternity members had practically betrayed him and that no one had apologized for the incident.

University and Kappa Sigma officials said Wednesday that they were investigating the incident.

Staff reporters Bethany McDougle and Lawrence Embry contributed to this report.