Update: Football player arrested for assault

A football player at Menlo College has been arrested in connection with a potentially deadly assault on another Menlo College student. The incident took place at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Garwood Avenue in Menlo Park early on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 29, Menlo Park police reported.

Benjamin Kain-Williams of Atherton, the Menlo College football player, and Darrell Willis of Wheatland, California, were arrested and charged with assault resulting in great bodily injury, and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said.

One of the two victims was taken to Stanford Hospital with what police described as potentially life-threatening injuries. Menlo College has identified that man as a student there.

The Menlo College Web site lists Mr. Kain-Williams as a sophomore linebacker on the football team.

"We are a small and very close community of students, faculty and staff at Menlo College, and we are deeply upset by this incident," said Timothy Haight, the college's president, in a press release. "Menlo College will continue to stress the importance of responsible behavior, not just among our students, but to local establishments who serve or sell alcohol to college students in their communities."

The two men who were assaulted were part of a larger group that had exchanged words at a restaurant with another group of men earlier that night, according to preliminary investigations by police.

"The libations were flowing, and so was the testosterone," said Detective Jeffrey Vasquez. "They had some words, and that was that."

The group that included the men who were assaulted left the restaurant to get "soda and chips for the road" at a "nearby establishment," Detective Vasquez said. It appears that the other group followed them there, meeting them in a parking lot, he said.

The groups dispersed and met up again further down the street, where the dispute escalated into a physical confrontation, according to Mr. Vasquez.

Mr. Vasquez said it is still possible that the police department will press charges against some of the other people involved in the fight, including the man who is currently in the hospital. Mr. Vasquez visited the hospital and spoke with the man on the afternoon of Jan. 29. As of the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 30, he said he would still describe that man's injuries as potentially life-threatening.

The police department asks those with information on the incident to call the department at 330-6300, or the department's anonymous tip line at 330-6395.


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Posted by Dr. Barton
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 31, 2009 at 8:03 am

The Menlo Football Program shouldn't suffer for the irresponsible actions of a few nor should the Baseball team for that matter. I maintain it is okay for an adult of eighteen to drink, but be responsible, this is a clear example of immaturity and all these students involved in the fracus should be expelled and banned from Menlo College! Long live the OAKS!

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Posted by Richard
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

What does the Menlo College baseball team have to do with this incident?

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Posted by Spence
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jan 31, 2009 at 5:19 pm

the 2 guys who picked the fight with the football players are on the baseball team, all of them were wrong.

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Posted by Eli Blowhard
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

[Post removed; see terms of use]

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Posted by Mark Litlin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Any update on the individual in the hospital?

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Posted by Spence
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm

baseball player's name is dante, he spoke with police but hes pretty banged up, school prez says all 4 players are done here at menlo, time to focus on baseball and leave this stuff behind us, peace out.

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Posted by Mike B
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Hope the young man is well and recovers, hard lesson to learn, glad school is not going to tolerate these kinds of actions. I support the President of the School.

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Posted by Sharon S
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 2, 2009 at 11:17 am

Is this the ruckus that occured near the 7-eleven?

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Posted by Jennifer Hopswell
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

They were talking about it at 7-Eleven Friday morning, I guess it happened across the street near the tracks, sad situation and all with kids drinking, the school needs to clamp down on this sort of stuff. My daughter is 16 and looking into attending Stanford or Menlo but does not play sports, this sort of thing happens in every school and both teams should not be made to suffer for the happless acts of a few. I too support the President in expelling all those involved.

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Posted by John S
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Can anyone shed some lights on the young man who got hurt and is in the hospital? Is he out of the woods yet? Please update us, we wish him well and his family whom I assuming is there along side his bed. Is this the first time two college teams, in this case baseball and football turn on each other being from the same school, didn't anyome teach these kids loyalty, why they turned on their own only they know, how about some pride and loyalty players?

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Posted by big joe
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 2, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Sounds like a street fight gone bad,alcohol makes people change and usually results in negative consequence.Neither athletic team should be punished for this event.

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Posted by Steven John
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

This was not a street fight, this was a mugging. The two thug football players were hideing in the shawdows of a dark allyway and attacked without warning.

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Posted by Maureen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

If there is only one boy in the hospital-it sure sounds like a mugging!!What are the injuries of the others? The boy in the hospital has a fracture in his skull. This was not a street fight this was 2 thugs attacking!!!

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Posted by Who wants to know
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm

This all started when a football player got jealous about a ex-girlfriend dancing and proceeded to fuel a fire with other team-mates, these two football players may have thrown the punches but they were provoked by the ego of there team-mate. The person that was brutally beaten and was left for dead is going to miss his senior year of baseball and the last year he was going to play the game. He also happens to be a very kind person with a heart of gold. It makes me sick to think someone can be so mean to a fellow student.I hope they are punished to fullest extent of the law.

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Posted by football fan
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2009 at 4:47 pm

If it didn't happen on the football field then the school's football team shouldn't even be involved. They are adults off campus....

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Posted by Steven John
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Hey football fan, it didn't happen on the football field last time I checked the rules they didn't allow a 2x4 piece of lumber to be used to blind side the oppostion. Those are rules this (ex) football player was playing by. Maybe he will get a good understanding of the prison rules.

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Posted by Browser
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Feb 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Some of those posting seem to have knowledge of the event, as if they are fellow Menlo College students. If that is the case.....I hope Menlo will implement a remedial spelling program for all students asap!!

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Posted by Pop ah Rozzi
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm

All you have to do is check the video on (WHO) actually started this cr^p from the bar! Cops checked it, enough said!! Every single one of you have it wrong! Football didn't start it, it sure sucks though to paint the baseball players like sweet innocent cuddly bears, all four of them went at it and they will all pay and were stupid! No one wants to see stupid things like this, it makes US ALL LOOK BAD! But never for one moment think football started this! Things are going to change in terms of alcohol, we will police our sports and clamp down, done! I'm out!

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Posted by dont worry about it
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

These two football players are not thugs and were actually hit first by the two baseball players.No shadows involved.It was A 2 on 2 fight. Like big joe said,street fight gone bad.If they werent on cement nothing would be made of this situation.It is unfortunate that this Dante kid was hurt seriously.My prayers go out to him and his family.

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Posted by Sean Howell
Almanac staff writer
on Feb 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Sean Howell is a registered user.

I asked Jeff Vasquez, a detective with the Menlo Park police, to respond to some of the questions and descriptions of the event above. He said that the victim's condition is still serious, but that he no longer considers his injuries life-threatening. An updated story is available here -- much of the information is the same as in the above story:

Web Link

It does not appear that any weapons were involved, he said. He said that he would not characterize the incident as a mugging. The group including the two assailants followed the other group down the street, according to Detective Vasquez; he said he would not describe the assailants as "laying in wait" for the men who were assaulted.

He said the groups involved were larger than just the two identified suspects, and the two men police have identified as victims.

Because the investigation is ongoing, the police dept. has declined to give any more detail than what we've reported. If anyone was involved in the incident, or is a friend or family member of either the suspects or the men who were assaulted, we would be interested to hear your account of what happened. Please feel free to contact me via phone at (650)854-2626, extension 223, or via e-mail at

Sean Howell
Almanac Staff Writer

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Posted by Lefty
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

we were all wrong-no one wins, dante could have died or much for worse, we are glad he will be okay, hope they let him play. time to have the peace between football and baseball, i for one love being with my friends, hope we can share a meal at the cafeteria with football if they will meet us half way, we are menlo oaks and time to act like it!

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Posted by Bravo
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Well said Lefty. I am about 20 years removed from college athletics, but I remember sport rivalries and such...but at the end of the day, you are all in the same athletic program at the same colleg. Those who messed up will surely pay. I hope the rest of you learn what there is to learn from all this, and move on. Hopefully the black eye that Menlo has suffered from this will heal quickly. Good luck. I hope you can all get past this ugliness.

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Posted by Amy B.
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 4, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Hear hear Lefty! Now that's what I wanted to hear, I was contemplating whether I should post on here or not, but your posting inspired me so I broke down. It takes a man to admit when he's wrong and by your olive branch to the football team speaks volumes that you have a good character, I couldn't agree with you more. Now maybe we can get someone from football to come on here and take a stand and accept the olive branch you offered, young adults such as yourselves should learn from this situation and present a united front and be an example to the youth of our community by condeming the behavior that landed your teammate in the hospital.

Great stand young man!


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Posted by Capn Crunch
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Maybe all four thugs will learn the rules behind bars! [Portion removed] Isn't Menlo College going out of business? Heard they were closing the school down because of asbestos in the over priced dorms! Who knew.

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