Suzanne Buchholz, Reporter
A 43-year-old man was arrested after breaking a glass door in the Gaspard Administration Building at Pierce College Puyallup on Oct. 4.
On Sunday morning, security officer Dion Kaapana was on-duty in the administration building when he heard knocking at the doors. He said he checked the doors but didn’t see anyone.
“It just happened to be that each door that he went to wasn’t the door that the individual was at, so he then went out to the patrol vehicle and went out on patrol,” Chris MacKersie, director of safety and security, said.
While patrolling the campus, Kaapana received a call from a 911 operator to let him know that Puyallup police officers patrolling the area saw the suspect.
When confronted by the Puyallup police officers, the suspect used threatening language and ran. The officers caught the suspect. They found he had broken a pane of glass in one of the doors of the administration building that faces the library.
The officers took him into custody on charges of malicious mischief without further incident.
The man was not a Pierce College student, and it’s unknown why he attempted to break the door.
Incidents of vandalism on campus such as this are unusual, MacKersie said. When windows or doors are broken on campus, it’s usually an accident on part of the grounds team, caused by a lawnmower or weed whacker, according to MacKersie.
“Probably the last thing I can think of is a couple years ago, on the back road, some of the street lights got shot out,” MacKersie said. “But that’s been a while ago. So, knock on wood, we’ve had a pretty good run on very limited vandalism.”
Campus safety officers take several precautions to ensure student and staff safety and reduce vandalism. Two officers stay on duty during school hours, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.
One officer walks through the interior part of the campus, checking in on the buildings, while the other officer drives through the parking lot.
While security officers are present during school operating hours, Pierce College Puyallup doesn’t have a commissioned force. When a crime or a major incident occurs, safety officers call 911 for backup.
MacKersie said he wants students to know what to do in the event of an emergency on campus, and what measures they should take themselves.
“If they believe there is an imminent threat to persons or property, call 911 and then campus safety. If they’re not sure, call us,” MacKersie said. “Absolutely, we want to know. And then we’ll help determine whether it’s not a big deal.”
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