This post is part of a series of reflections on the recent events on campus. If you have anything that you would like to contribute, please feel free to reach out to us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org.
In a matter of hours after I write these words, students, friends, and members of the Wesleyan community will be seen before a judicial panel somewhere in North College to determine whether or not they will be allowed to stay on campus. I first heard about this from a petition that is being circulated calling on Deans Whaley, Culliton and Backer for “sound judgment and restorative justice” for the students that are facing a hearing over spring break when the majority of campus is away. The petition states, “judicial processes [are] being blatantly overruled” and seems to paint these trials as unusual, suspicious, and unjust.
I wanted to investigate these claims and help spread awareness of how our school’s judicial system actually functions. While much of this information is available in the “Judicial Procedures” section of our Student Handbook, I know few of us actually read or understand these rights and procedures. This post is my search for truth in face of unfortunate circumstances while recognizing that the Student Judicial Board is so often given a bad reputation due to misinformation. I want to understand how and why these students are being charged and how the University has handled this case.
According to the Hartford Courant, Middletown police are investigating a reported shooting about an hour ago on Flower Street, which lies a little less than a mile from High Rise, near Middlesex Hospital. Here’s all the info that’s being reported so far:
Police are investigating a shooting on Flower Street.
Officers responded shortly before 9 p.m. for a report of a person shot in the leg. The victim was taken to the hospital in a private car.
Police have crime scene tape blocking access to Flower Street.
The above map shows the location of the shooting in relation to campus (though there’s no indication that the incident was Wesleyan-related). We’ll update this post if more details roll in.
Here’s an image of the crime scene, via Fox CT:
Police are making headway on the case of laptops lifted from Hewitt about a month ago. From the Middletown Patch:
A 23-year-old city man charged with stealing a laptop from Wesleyan University was advertising it and many others in a Craigslist ad, police say. Christopher Aresco, 23, of Aresco Drive, was discovered with five other Macbooks, according to Middletown Police, who have been investigating a recent rash of student computer thefts.
Police arranged a set-up at the McDonalds on Washington Street that led to the man’s arrest. The MacBook Pro Aresco attempted to sell the officer matched the serial number of a laptop taken from Freeman Athletic Center on September 20th.
But what about the missing Hewitt laptops?
After officers searched his bedroom, they found five more laptops that matched the description of those stolen from Wesleyan, which Aresco told police he bought from a person, “and didn’t feel good about these,” the report indicates.
Just because P-Safe hasn’t sent you an alert doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. According to Middletown Patch, two men were found trespassing on campus around 3 a.m. last night. When questioned by a P-Safe officer, they tried to run and later gave false information. Interestingly, an MPD dog saved the day:
The report says Harris gave the name of a friend he was visiting, which turned out to be false. The report says he fled on foot but was caught by a police canine. Smith fled the scene, police say, but Wesleyan public safety said he was seen driving a Nissan Pathfinder around campus blowing his horn, seeming to be looking for Harris.
Smith was found on Rose Circle, the report says, but wouldn’t answer questions when asked. Smith finally gave his first name, the report says, and said the car was his mother’s but denied being on campus. Wesleyan officers identified Smith, the report says.
The two men were charged with “simple trespass, criminal impersonation and interfering with an office.”
There has been a spate of apparent Aurora copycat attempts (or interpreted attempts) in the few weeks since the shooting, and the latest is too close to home not to note here. According to the New York Post, a 46-year-old man was arrested last night at a New Haven movie theater (Criterion-Bow Tie Cinemas, a few blocks from Yale) for carrying a loaded handgun into the theater. He seems to have resisted arrest, though he did have a permit for the gun and his intentions are unclear:
Officers arrived at the Criterion-Bow Tie Cinemas shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday after managers reported a man inside with a gun. It wasn’t clear whether the call was about Hwang or someone else.
About a dozen people were inside waiting for the movie to begin, police said. Officers asked each of them to raise their hands and file out, where they were patted down, according to a news release.
Hwang remained in his seat using his cellphone, police said. Police said he refused to put his hands up and was taken into custody by force. The gun was found in his waistband near the small of his back, police said.
Plus, the New York Times on campus safety and security alerts as “the soundtrack of college life.”
Hide your kids, hide your wife, P-Safe has documented yet another campus intruder incident. This one’s different, weirder, and—thankfully—free of armed robbery. The intruder, an 18-year-old North Carolina man reportedly babbling at the mouth, was spotted running “at a full sprint and changing directions rapidly” near campus at 2:33 A.M. last Friday. He ran across Wash without glancing at traffic, according to Middletown Patch, while being chased by both a P-Safe car and a police officer on foot. That’s when shit got weird:
The officer ran after him on foot, the report says, as [Devin Jacob ] Hanaway ran up stairs to a second-floor apartment, was overcome by the officer and actively resisted being handcuffed. The officer said Hanaway was “sweating profusely” so he couldn’t hold him, and was 6-foot-2 inches tall and more than 200 pounds.
“I could hear the male talking in gibberish and it became apparent that he was under the influence of illicit substances,” the report details; Hanaway continued to fight handcuffing and was shocked with a Taser X26 in the back.
Last month I spent a weekend on campus, nearly got robbed, and only realized it the following morning, when a Public Safety Alert popped into my inbox. I urged students on campus to stay alert at night; it’s a lot more desolate than it is during the semester, and small-time criminals know it.
Unnervingly enough, Middletown robberies happen in broad daylight on Sundays, too:
Public Safety would like to inform the community that on Sunday July 1 at approximately 2:08pm a student was walking in the area of William St and Hamlin St when he was approached by two suspects who displayed a hand gun and demand his wallet and phone. The student complied and the after the suspects left he walked to the Public Safety office.
Around 11:50 last night, while walking across campus with another student, I noticed two guys in hooded sweatshirts following us from a significant distance near College Row. We walked faster. They pursued. We turned a corner. Eventually, they were out of sight.
I put the incident out of mind until today, when this Public Safety Alert appeared in my (and your) inbox. I’m reposting it here as a casual PSA for anyone at Wes over the summer: stay alert at night. Campus gets pretty desolate after 10 p.m., and if you’re traveling solo, consider yourself vulnerable to this sort of thing:
Public Safety would like to alert the community that on Sunday June 17 at 12:18AM a male reported that he was robbed on Church St. The victim stated that he was approached by two males as he walked alone along Church St in the vicinity of Olin Library. He stated the males displayed facsimile handguns, knocked him to the ground and kicked him. He stated that the suspects took his cell phone and ring before fleeing on foot. The victim declined medical attention.
You’ve been gone, but Giant Joint’s alive and well in town: the Middletown Police Street Crime Unit found and seized 29 pounds of marijuana (above, actual image) addressed to a Middletown resident earlier this week, reports the Middletown Press. Details are still a bit hazy, but no doubt MPD can blaze through the investigation:
Detectives were advised that four boxes from a commercial shipping service were addressed to Roosevelt Freeman, 14 Traverse Square, Middletown, and possibly contained a large amount of marijuana. Two of the boxes remained at the shipping facilities annex in Louisville, Ky., which contained approximately 27.5 pounds of marijuana. The other two boxes (containing the 29 pounds) were allowed to continue on to their shipping destination, police said.
[ . . . ]
Johnnie Mae Mitchell and Theodore Roosevelt Freeman were both arrested and charged with possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana, possession with intent to sell over one kilo of marijuana, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell within a public housing project. They were both released after posting $25,000 bonds.
Some people really don’t like performing their civic duty:
MIDDLETOWN — A city man has been arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on a census worker last week.
An employee of the U.S. Census Bureau complained to police that Demond McCaw, 35, pulled a gun on him while he was visiting the suspects McKenna Drive home on May 30 at 6:44 p.m.
The worker told police that McCaw was answering census-related questions, then stopped when he thought the questions became too personal, according to police. The census worker walked back to his car to retrieve paperwork and McCaw allegedly followed. The suspect reportedly grabbed the papers from the worker, police said. When the worker attempted to retrieve them McCaw pulled a hand gun from his waistband, cocked it and began waiving the weapon above his head in a threatening manner, according to the census worker’s statement to police.
McCaw told police he felt threatened by the census worker and said the worker did not show proper identification.
Police officers confiscated the hand gun, which they said was loaded.
McCaw was charged with second-degree threatening with a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. [Middletown Press]
McCaw was released on bail. Be careful, census workers!