A current UR undergraduate student drove a car through the front door of Susan B. Anthony Halls at approximately 7:10 a.m. on Sunday morning. The student has since arranged to meet with the Rochester Police Department and with UR Security regarding the incident.

“What we have here is an act of criminal mischief,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said. “It is a felony act in New York State.”

The student entered his car around 7 a.m., according to information compiled by UR Security investigator Dan Lafferty. After striking another car in the parking lot, the suspect drove through the Sue B. door.

Immediately after the incident, the suspect pulled out and drove off-campus, leaving a routine UR Security patrol to discover the damage around 7:15 a.m. The door was then temporarily repaired.

After departing the River Campus, the suspect drove to the town of Gates, where he abandoned his damaged car and stole a car that had been left running outside of a gas station. The suspect then drove to his home.

Later that morning, the suspect was taken by family to an area hospital for evaluation, according to Lafferty. The student’s parents then contacted the Gates Police Department, who charged the student with the theft of the car.

The case is currently being handled by the Gates PD, the RPD and UR Security. Because of the value of the damage and the crime committed, the student will be charged by police with a felony.

“This will be a matter for the public authorities because of its felony status,” Mauldin said. “We’re all very fortunate that no one was hurt.”

UR Facilities is currently collecting estimates for the repair of the door, which has been temporarily replaced with a sheet of plywood. UR Security estimates the replacement value of the door at $10,000.

Immediately after the incident, RPD and the Rochester Fire Department responded to Sue B. to ensure that there were no injuries sustained in the crash. Authorities also worked to certify the entrance area as safe for students to use despite the damage.

Students entering and exiting the building were temporarily routed through the University Health Services entrance for safety purposes.

“I was shocked when I found out that someone drove a car into the building,” Sue B. resident and freshman Matt Starr said. “I don’t know how they did it.”

The crash left two doors inoperative, breaking glass in both the inner and outer sets of doors. The metal framework around the doors was also damaged.

UR Security has already begun the process of dealing with the incident.

“We are meeting with the RPD to follow through with this,” Mauldin said. “We’re all sharing information about the incident on Sunday morning.”

Despite the serious nature of the incident, some students remain incredulous that such an event could have occurred. “I don’t know what could possibly make driving through a door seem like an attractive thing to do,” sophomore Ted Chelis said.

The incident surprises even veterans of the UR community. “I’ve been here for 25 years, and this is definitely the first car that has driven into a building,” Mauldin said.Majarian can be reached at mmajarian@campustimes.org.



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