College Runner Opens Fire At Spring Break Resort

When I went out to the beach for Spring Break in college, I packed a carload of supplies. Mostly it was case after case of Pabst Blue Ribbon, plus the usual assortment of beach supplies, snack food and maybe a change of clothes. One of the things I never thought to bring were guns - unless they were Super Soakers (probably to be filled with Pabst Blue Ribbon for some asinine drinking game).

Spring Break movie poster

But Norfolk State track athlete Carlton Phipps apparently is a bit more thorough in his packing than I was. Because the VIRGINIAN-PILOT reports that he has been suspended by the team after he and former teammate Raymond Brown allegedly caused a panic at a Daytona Beach resort this weekend by firing their semi-automatic weapons into the air at 3:30 in the morning.

But before you rush to judgment against them, there were definitely some extenuating circumstances. According to a police statement Phipps and Brown - who are both black - were in a hot tub with three other people when a group of 15 white college students began racially harassing them.

The pair first ignored them knuckleheads, but then went back to their rooms, retrieved a .357-caliber Glock and a .380-caliber Bersa into the air and fired them into the air before fleeing. Police found the guns buried nearby on the beach, which seems like a silly place to ditch the guns: a place where lots of people frequently are digging. That would have been a nasty surprise for little Jimmy as he was trying to build a sand castle.

I am in no way condoning what Phipps and Brown did - firing guns into the air at a crowded resort is insanely stupid, but not as stupid as bringing guns into your hotel room during Spring Break in the first place. (Because alcohol plus semi-automatic weapons are always a good combination.) But - and I know this is hardly high praise - Phipps doesn’t fit your profile of a “thug athlete” - he was on the conference All-Academic team. At least he was smart enough to fire into the air and not at someone.