Washington DC Oct 23 2010 When students at Harbin Hall were rousted from their beds by Georgetown University officials at 6 a.m. Saturday, some thought it might be a cruelly timed fire drill.
Georgetown isn’t the first college to find a drug lab
It was something odder still: Campus police had discovered a clandestine drug lab inside a dorm room on the top floor of the freshman residence hall.
Police arrested two male students and a campus visitor Saturday morning for possession of drug paraphernalia, hours after evacuating 400 students from the nine-floor hall. Police did not immediately release their names.
Officers initially believed they had found a methamphetamine lab. After further investigation Saturday afternoon, they concluded the chemicals were for production of dimethyltryptamine or DMT, a hallucinogenic.
Students struggled to reconcile the discovery of a drug lab with their image of Georgetown, a prim national university with a scholarly and somewhat preppie culture.
“I would understand if someone got caught doing it. Making it, that’s different. It’s shocking,” said Gina Park, 19, a sophomore from Hong Kong.
A Harbin resident called campus police about 5 a.m. to report a strange odor coming from a room on the ninth floor. Officers went to the room and found “a variety of chemicals,” said Pete Piringer, D.C. fire spokesman. “They did have some heating equipment. They did have a ventilation system.”
By 6 a.m., “people were going around pounding on doors, saying, ‘You need to evacuate,’” said Natalie Muller, 18, a Harbin resident. Hundreds of freshmen poured out in the chilly morning air in pajamas and were sent to the dining hall and student center.
Seven students and adults were evaluated for exposure to the chemicals, which can be harmful if inhaled or exposed to bare skin. All were cleared.
Students were briefly allowed back inside the building three hours later, then ordered to leave again.
“We didn’t find out until 2 1/2 or 3 hours later what was going on,” said Katya Funk, 18, a bleary-eyed freshman in a sweatsuit. “It’s been so much fun.”
Authorities entered the room Saturday afternoon to remove the chemicals. University spokeswoman Julie Green Bataille said there was no sign any toxins had spread.
“It appears to be confined to that one room,” she said. “It will have to be decontaminated.”
Displaced Harbin Hall residents milled around among rescue vehicles and drug-sniffing dogs. Gawkers included the university’s Bulldog mascot.
Students at Georgetown, as at many colleges, are known for occasional binge drinking and casual drug use. Hard drugs are less common, students said, and a drug lab in a freshman dorm room was heretofore unknown.
“For this campus, this is very out of the norm,” said Kayla Bostwick, 18, a Harbin resident. “This should not happen.
TULSA OK Oct 23 2010 – A man is arrested at a high school football game after a security guard was injured.
According to Tulsa Public Schools, Bob Kendrick, 65, was apparently upset about security at the gate of the football game at the district’s Williams Stadium Thursday night.
Witnesses report seeing Kendrick strike the TPS security officer in the head with a metal stadium chair after the officer prohibited another fan from entering the football game.
The district said the officer was transported by paramedics to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
School leaders said no students were involved, as campus police officers were able to quickly control and de-escalate the situation.
Officers said Kendrick was at the stadium to watch the Central High School vs. Edison Preparatory School football game.
Kendrick was arrested on a felony complaint of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
OREM UT Oct 23 2010 — An academic counselor at Utah Valley University and a former junior high school teacher was arrested Friday after police say he tried entice a 15-year-old girl on the Internet.
The teen girl, however, turned out to be an undercover police officer.
Russell Betts, 31, of Spanish Fork, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of five counts of enticing a minor over the Internet. Betts told police he was a junior high teacher and a UVU adviser.
On Thursday, an investigator with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, posing as a 15-year-old girl, struck up a conversation in a chat room with Betts, according to an affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
Police say Betts has been talking for two years with task force officers from Price and Provo as well, using different user names. He talked to each officer more than 15 times, according to court records. Those conversations included sexually explicit talk, offers of meeting for intercourse and requests for pictures, the affidavit states.
Betts admitted to police having risque pictures of 15- to 17-year-old girls on his computer. He stated that he “has never touched any of his students,” according to the affidavit.
LANCASTER OH Oct 23 2010 — Four people are accused of committing the largest shoplifting spree in more than four years at River Valley Mall, but they didn’t get far before being arrested Thursday.
Four Newark residents were arraigned Friday on felony charges of receiving stolen property and possession of criminal tools.
More than $3,300 was stolen from six stores throughout the mall between 3:26 and 5:10 p.m. Thursday. Police said the group of four used devices in their shopping bags to throw off security sensors while exiting stores.
Lancaster police stopped a car matching a vehicle description provided by mall security.
“This was not spur of the moment; it was thought out and their intention was obvious to get (large amounts) of merchandise,” said Lancaster Police Detective Rod Sandy. “They had to make several trips to the vehicle because of the volume. The trunk was completely full of clothing.”
Inside the vehicle were numerous bags of clothes and other items with price tags and security sensors still attached, police said.
Police said Lea Bush, 22, of Newark, was the driver of the vehicle. She and Danielle Wood, 28, Michael Anderson, 29, and James Wood, 39, all of Newark, were each arraigned on felony charges of receiving stolen property and possession of criminal tools.
All pleaded not guilty and were given the same $2,500 bond.
River Valley Mall General Manager Tim Kaylor said it was the largest shoplifting theft at the mall since he started there about four years ago.
Kaylor credited the cooperation of the stores, who are generally responsible for their own security.
“Everybody was working together, and we were able to get that information to police. Fortunately they were able to get them apprehended,” he said.
Roseville CA Oct 23 2010 Dan Keller was working alone inside the GameStop at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, Calif., when the first customer of the day walked in.
“We were bantering back and forth he wanted some products,” the 36-year-old store manager told The Bee Friday.
Then, Keller said, “He suggested that I leave the store, cause he was going to blow it up.”
Keller fled, calling security and setting into motion the rapid evacuation of the Galleria without anyone suffering injury.
The fire that 23-year-old Alexander Corney Piggee allegedly set after Keller fled ultimately damaged up to a quarter of the 1.3-million-square-foot mall. Twenty stores suffered heavy damage, fire officials said Friday. Water is 4 inches deep in places, and flooring, concrete, piping and other debris covers the floor on the first and second floors between Macy’s and JCPenney.
There still is no timetable for when the mall may reopen, but with the holiday shopping season approaching, officials said they hoped to see at least parts of it back in business before the end of next month. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the aftermath.
The mall remained under tight security Friday because officials were still trying to determine whether Piggee carried a bomb into the mall hidden in a backpack.
Piggee is being held without bail at the Placer County jail on charges of arson “under conditions likely to cause great bodily injury and causing damages and losses in excess of $6.5 million,” burglary and making criminal threats.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at 1 p.m.