Greenville, NC – Police have arrested a black student at East Carolina University for cyberstalking after he posted a racist fake rush party invite on behalf of a rival fraternity.
Police said the incident occurred in August when an invitation was posted to the social media app Yik Yak advertising a rush party allegedly being thrown by Theta Chi, WRAL reported.
“Theta Chi rush party. PNMs [potential new members] and girls only. No blacks. Girls 5$ @door. Call or text,” the post read, and included a name and phone number of a Theta Chi member.
Theta Chi was quick to deny that anyone from their fraternity had made the post, WITN reported.
There was no Theta Chi rush party at all planned for the date on the invitation, according to WRAL.
Police investigated and were able to track the post on the anonymous app back to 19-year-old James Daniel Edwards IV, the head of recruitment for rival fraternity Pi Lambda Phi, the News & Observer reported.
“GPD’s investigation has not revealed any affiliation between Edwards and the Theta Chi fraternity,” police said. “It is the Greenville Police Department’s understanding he is a member of another ECU fraternity.”
East Carolina University confirmed that Edwards was a political science major at the school, WITN reported.
The Pi Lambda Phi website identified him as the vice president of new member recruitment.
“The motive is still under investigation; however, the post was made during Rush Week, when fraternities try to recruit members, so we believe that was a factor,” Greenville Police Department Spokeswoman Kristen Hunter told McClatchy News in an email.
A warrant was issued for Edwards on cyberstalking charges, the News & Observer reported.
He turned himself in to Greenville police last week.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Greenville Police to identify the individual who made the post and to clear the name of the student and the Theta Chi fraternity listed in the original post,” East Carolina University’s Director of Student Engagement John Mountz told the News & Observer in a statement. “We will continue to work with our students and campus to build a welcoming and inclusive community for all.”
The invitation made local headlines when it first appeared on social media because of its racially-charged language.
Edwards, who is black, told WITN that he couldn’t comment on the incident until he had obtained a lawyer.
Pi Lambda Phi has not responded to requests for comment on the matter.