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Police foot chase ends in arrest for student

September 30, 2011

The alleged theft of one bottle of Smirnoff vodka ended with an on foot police chase and the arrest of a Monmouth College student on Sunday night.  The student has been charged by the Monmouth police with retail theft, resisting arrest, obstructing the peace and possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor.  One bottle of Smirnoff vodka was stolen from the Beck’s Express gas station on North Main St. in Monmouth.

Police pulled over a truck in the Liedman and Fraternity Complex parking lot where they commanded the occupants to exit the vehicle.  The same student who robbed the gas station wrestled out of the officer’s grasp and sprinted west toward the center of campus causing the police to follow.

This event raises a question as to what campus officials can do about a threatening situation to the college at large.  In this particular case the student was dealt with by the police quietly, swiftly and without making a scene.  The overall student population was not in much danger and does not have knowledge of the event.  However what if there is a person who brings a gun or a knife onto campus, what is Monmouth College security protocol?

Associate Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and Student Affairs Mohsin Masood is in charge of security at Monmouth. 

“Security will immediately call law enforcement,” Masood said. “Security does not have the authority to arrest.  They don’t physically restrain someone, they just call the police.”

According to Dean Masood Residents Assistants will follow the same protocol of calling the police.  “We never had a real weapon brought in by any student,” said Masood. “Be-be guns have been brought by students, security confiscates it and I have a conference with the student.  I give it back and they take it back home.”

Security has limited power on campus, but Dean Masood said that the college has good relations with the Monmouth police.

Junior Zachary Kempf witnessed the interaction between the student and police in the Fraternity Complex parking lot.  “I saw the person run, and I knew that it had to be something serious, and I felt like it had to be drugs or theft,” Kempf said.  “My only concern was that it might have been someone on campus that I knew and I didn’t want one of my friends to get in trouble.”

“I’ve heard about people breaking into cars and thought it [the altercation with police] could be something like that,” Kempf added.

The arrest comes in the middle of what would be called a crime wave at Monmouth College with cars being broken into and vandalism in the Haldeman-Thiessen building. 

Joe Florio
Photography Manager

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