Criminal trespassing reported on DKE house

DKE+house.+%5BPhoto+courtesy+of+Chuck+Zovko%2C+Communications+Division+%5D

DKE house. [Photo courtesy of Chuck Zovko, Communications Division ]

Kathryn Kelly

A report of criminal trespassing was filed with the Lafayette College Office of Public Safety during the interim period on Jan. 6, after facilities operations employees discovered a damaged window on the Delta Kappa Epsilon house and mud tracked indoors.

“[The window] was pushed in and upon our initial investigation there was some mud that was found on the inside certainly suggesting that there was someone who went in through the window,” Chief of Police and Associate Director of Public Safety Jim Meyer said.

Meyer said that the incident was deemed criminal trespassing “because [of] the fact that somebody went through a window, and…that the window was damaged.”

A non-criminal instance of trespassing typically constitutes a report of a suspicious person in a building or area where they are not recognized, but “it’s not a forcible entry. It’s just somebody walking in that shouldn’t be there,” Meyer said.

President of DKE Jimmy Cochran ’18 said that the damage to the window may have occurred sometime during the fall when a brother tried to open a window and part of it became dislodged.

“This is potentially [what caused the damage to the window],” he said. “One of the brothers was trying to open a window during a meal, because it gets pretty hot [inside]. It became dislodged on the top part and to be honest we just never really fixed, so I guess that’s on us.”

However, he added that this damage to the window may not be what was observed by facilities operations on Jan. 6.

Director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell said that something public safety has seen in the past is students entering through the windows of buildings because they forgot their keys inside. Cochran said that a member of DKE has come forward saying that this did happen, but Cochran is uncertain whether or not this is the specific incident that caused the window damage and the mud tracks.

“Someone came forward and said they used the window to get into the house because they left their keys, but that wasn’t a criminal break-in,” and therefore it may not have been the incident that caused the window’s damage, he said.

Neither Meyer nor Cochran could say what the extent of the damage to the window was.

“I don’t know for sure whether it was broken. I don’t know whether the glass was broken,” Meyer said. “What I do know is the window was pushed in far enough for it to appear that someone had entered because there was some mud on the inside.”

Meyer said that since the DKE house is the college’s property, Lafayette paid for the repairs and it was fixed before students returned after interim.

Cochran said that he and the residential advisor of the DKE house had not heard from public safety about the alleged incident before being contacted by The Lafayette. Meyer said that public safety plans to follow up with them soon, as the investigation is still active.