Bench thrown down into Living Learning Center Lobby

Bench thrown down into Living Learning Center Lobby

Stephanie Cannon, [email protected], is a junior mass media major.

As stated in last week’s police report, on Jan. 29, at 10:59 PM, an incident occurred in the Living Learning Center. A property damage report was filed in which a man tossed a bench from the upper balcony into the lobby below.

Witnesses described the man as being 6’ 4”, 250 to 280 pounds, with brown hair and a scruffy brown beard. He was described as muscular and was wearing a green sweatshirt and dark grey sweatpants. Witnesses couldn’t agree on the man’s age but some thought he could have been college age.

The man wasn’t exactly angry, according to reports, but he was spouting incoherent, nonsensical phrases at individuals in the area as well as those passing through. Witnesses stated that the individual wasn’t acting in a typical manner, though it was unclear if the man was suffering from mental health issues or if he were under the influence of an unknown substance.

After speaking to several individuals, the man then picked up one of the benches on the second floor of the Living Learning Center building and then threw it down to the lower level. It is unclear, from reports, if the individual looked to see if there were any students gathered in the lower level’s lobby before he tossed the bench over the balcony and it is fortunate that no students were injured in the incident.

This area of the LLC is open to the public because of the classroom and meeting space it contains, so it is effectively an extension of the Memorial Student Union. When asked, the Washburn Police Department assured that the individual at no time had access to the secured living facility, so the students the man had contact with were minimal.

“Whoever this individual is, we’d sure like to find out,” said Chris Enos, Captain of the WPD. “At this point it doesn’t sound like it was anyone who is a part of the campus community, faculty, staff or student, so it may possibly be someone who lives in the area.”

If students wish to help police when incidents occur, Enos recommends,” Obviously don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Make sure you call police as soon as you can when you think it’s safe to do so.”

Enos also points out that in the age of cellphones that students, who act in a safe and discreet manor that doesn’t draw attention to themselves, can take pictures or video to help with police investigations such as these.

“It might not hurt to videotape or photograph this person so you have a record of what they’re saying or doing.” Enos said.

If students have any more information about the incident or individual they are urged to contact WPD at (785) 670-1153.