“What started out as a simple prank didn’t end as one,” Chief Silcox of Millersville University Police Department said.
Four male students were removed from campus after an incident involving a fake gun occurred in Hull Hall on Sept. 6.
According to Dr. Aminta Breaux, VP of student affairs, the four males were invading the rooms of female students. One of the males was wearing a ski mask that showed only his eyes.
Students in Hull reported the incident began around 8:30 p.m. Information released from MUPD revealed charges filed included, simple assault by physical menace, disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Witnesses in Hull said that the students broke into rooms with doors either closed or ajar. When entering unlocked doors that were closed, one of the suspects would slowly open the handle while another kicked the door down, entering with the fake gun.
Reports from multiple students affected by the incident indicated the attacks were consistent from room to room.
One suspect would enter the room with the fake gun demanding money, while another suspect would follow behind with a digital camera recording video, according to witnesses at the scene.
Female students in the dorm called MUPD after the alleged prank took place. According to Silcox, the accused fled the scene but were picked up by officers at other locations on campus. No one was harmed when the incident took place.
“It would not have been funny before the Virginia Tech tragedy and it’s not funny now,” Silcox said.
Charges have been filed with four students through District Justice Leo Eckert. According to a statement from MUPD, “Campus judicial action pending does not allow for the release of names of the students involved at this time.” According to Silcox, one of the accused was a minor.
“This is a very alarming incident,” Breaux said. “There will be very serious consequences for something like this.”
“People are stupid,” Junior Lauren Francos said. “It’s not funny and I would be freaked out if someone barged in on me.”
The incident is currently under investigation by Judicial Affairs, which follows up with any case in which the code of conduct is broken. Lori Austen, director of judicial affairs, was not available for comment.
“Being removed from campus should teach them a lesson,” said Junior Ashley McCollgan.
“Even if no charges were filed through the police, there would still be an on-campus investigation,” Thomas Richardson, director of housing said.
The incident was not reported to the Threat Assessment Team because it was an imminent issue addressed by MUPD. Depending on how the investigation turns out, it could be referred to TAT at a later time.
Whether the students will be permanently removed from the University has yet to be determined.