Cops encounter mysterious messages and missing markers

By Brielle Bryan
Production Manager

• On Feb. 19 at approximately 6:05 p.m., four Campus Police officers arrived at Lot 11 in reference to a suspicious vehicle that had been seen in the lot on multiple occasions. The complaint came from a female who stated she did not believe the person occupying the vehicle was a student at the College. Upon arrival, the officers could not find the vehicle. Campus Police then located the vehicle and figured out who it was registered to: a student on campus with the same last name as the one on the vehicle’s registration, Campus Police said. The officers arrived at the student’s residence hall and located the vehicle nearby. They could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Campus Police could see green, leafy vegetation inside the vehicle that was scattered along the center console and on the floor in the rear of the cabin, according to police reports. While one officer stayed to watch the vehicle, the others went to the student’s room to speak with him. Upon arrival, the officers knocked on the door and announced their presence. A male answered the door and acknowledged that he was the student in question, police said. He gave the officers permission to enter the room and search his vehicle, in which he admitted that there was marijuana inside. The officers initiated a pat down of the student to clear him of any potential weapons, but he did not possess any. At approximately 6:40 p.m., Campus Police escorted the student to his vehicle where he was read the consent to search form along with his Miranda Rights. The student signed both forms. Upon opening the door of the vehicle, there was a strong odor of a controlled dangerous substance, according to police reports. Campus Police opened the center console, revealing a Ziploc plastic bag containing a green, leafy vegetation believed to be marijuana. There were three other plastic bags containing residue of the same substance. One red, yellow and green glass pipe; one clear glass pipe, one purple metal pipe, one soft plastic water pipe and two packs of Raw brand rolling papers were uncovered alongside the plastic bags, according to police reports. Campus Police opened the trunk of the vehicle and found a clear green glass water pipe. At approximately 7:10 p.m., after completing the search of the vehicle, Campus Police placed the student under arrest. The student was transported to Police Headquarters. At approximately 7:25 p.m., Pro-Staff arrived at Police Headquarters to speak with the student regarding the incident. The student was issued a summons.

Campus Police finds green, leafy vegetation in a suspicious vehicle. (Jason Proleika / Photo Editor)

• On Feb. 20 at approximately 3:40 p.m., a female student reported receiving harassing text messages to Campus Police. The student reported she had been receiving unwanted text messages from unknown numbers. She said she first received a text message from an unknown number on Feb. 18. According to Campus Police, she originally thought she knew the owner of the number, who pretended to be someone she knew. After texting the number back, she started to realize that the number of the individual she knew was not the same as the person she had been texting. She then stopped texting the number. On Feb. 19, she reported that she received another text from another unknown number that knew her name. The unknown individual said their name was that of a male student that went to her high school. However, that person did not exist at her high school, police said. When the female student answered the message to explain that she didn’t know him, he replied by sending inappropriate messages, such as “Do you play with yourself?” and “I want to have my way with you,” according to Campus Police. The female student replied to the unknown individual’s messages, telling him to stop. The unknown individual did not comply. The student said she did not feel threatened, just uncomfortable by the nature of the texts. She told Campus Police that she had no idea who it could be, and she had not given out her number recently. Campus Police advised the student to block the number and stay away from answering suspicious or unknown numbers.

• On Thursday, Feb. 23, at approximately 12:50 a.m., while conducting vehicle patrol near F Street, a Campus Police officer observed a light on the Southeast side of Lake Sylva. At 12:55 a.m., the officer arrived at Lot 15 where another officer joined him. The officers then got out of their patrol cars and walked on the bridge across from the dam to get a closer look at the light. The officers believed the light to be a flame for a brief moment, possibly ignited by a lighter. They walked toward the location of the flame where they observed two male students standing alone at the bank of the lake. The two students were holding a red and black plastic pipe containing green, leafy vegetation while attempting to ignite the vegetation with a lighter, according to Campus Police. The officers said they also observed an orange prescription pill bottle on the ground between the feet of the two males that contained more green, leafy vegetation believed to be marijuana. The two male students were placed under arrest at 1:02 a.m. Another sergeant came to assist the officers as they transported the male students back to Police Headquarters for processing at 1:10 a.m., where the two students were read the Uniform Mercer County Rights form. They were fingerprinted, photographed and issued a summons. A few hours later, they were released from custody and escorted back to their residence halls.

• On Feb. 17 at approximately 1:35 p.m., two Campus Police officers were dispatched to meet with a female student in Forcina Hall in reference to a theft. Upon arrival, the officers met with the female who stated that on Feb. 8 at approximately 7:30 p.m., she dropped off supplies to a room for tutoring sessions with a friend. On Feb. 15 at approximately 4 p.m., the supplies appeared to be missing. The supplies consisted of two whiteboards valued at $40, two card tables valued at $60, one roll of butcher paper valued at $30, one set of markers valued at $10, one set of pencils valued at $10 and one set of construction paper valued at $10, according to Campus Police. The female said no one had checked on the items between Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. She stated that the room was not secured because there was no locking mechanism on the door. The female was advised to contact Campus Police with any information. At approximately 3:40 p.m., Campus Police spoke with the female who stated she located the card tables and whiteboards in another room, but did not find the other missing items.

Anyone with information can contact Campus Police at 609-771-2345.