Two more patients at the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, David Mullins and Sandra Pressley, escaped Sept. 14, and a third, Christopher Hammell, escaped Sept. 16. Hammell was found and returned to custody Sept. 17, but Mullins and Pressley are still missing.
While the patients are not considered dangerous, the College has advised students to stay away from the patients if they see them, and to call Campus Police.
David Mullins is a 5’10” 44-year-old African-American male. He is balding, and was last seen wearing green pants and a white T-shirt.
Sandra Pressley is a 5’1″ 43-year-old African-American woman, who was last seen wearing tan shorts and a light blue shirt.
These escapes, in conjunction with the earlier escape of Michael Janicki, a schizophrenic 22-year-old who killed his father with a samurai sword, have made many students who live in the Country Club Apartments next door to the hospital concerned about their safety.
“This fence is what separates us from mentally ill people,” Tom Sales, junior political science major, said while pointing to the fence that is the only barrier between the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and the Country Club Apartments.
“It’s crazy that we’re living next to crazies,” Sales said.
“I’m just baffled,” David Perfetti, junior finance major, said in reference to the recent rash of escapes.
Jennifer Soderstrom, junior elementary education and history major, said she sometimes can hear the voices of the hospital patients at night.
Lauren Baines, junior management major, said a Campus Police car occasionally sits in the lot a couple hours at a time, but that there is no major police presence. The security booth that sits in the apartment’s driveway is always empty, she said.
Janicki was found dead on the hospital grounds a week after being declared missing. He apparently died the night that he escaped.
Students have lost trust in local police because of the extensive period of time police took to find the body, which never left the hospital campus.
For Sales, another one of the more infuriating aspects is how the College has handled telling students about the escapes.
When Janicki escaped two weeks ago, a flier was handed out that stated the fact that an inmate had escaped, not that he was considered dangerous. It also lacked a description of what he looked like, or in what clothes he was last seen.
The residents of the Country Club Apartments found out from newspaper and radio reports that Janicki had killed his father and was considered unstable when he escaped the premises.
The flier handed out to warn students about Mullins and Pressley, however, contains descriptions of them, their clothes, and where they were last seen.
The College handed out the more-descriptive fliers after students protested the lack of information on the previous ones, according to Sales.
Still, life goes on as usual at the apartments. Even though the number of escapes is a major concern, classes and social life continues on normally.
“It doesn’t really affect life around here,” Baines said.
“It’s almost like we’re getting used to it,” Soderstrom said.