Crime Prevention Alert

(Gazette, Jan. 23, 1997)

This monthly report is compiled from information made available by the Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP) unit. CEP is located in the Facilities Management Building on Memorial's St. John's campus, telephone 737-8561. At Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the security office is Room AS-280, Arts and Science Building, telephone 637-6310. At the Marine Institute, Ridge Road, telephone 778-0456 to reach the security office.

Former student convicted of assault

In April 1996 we reported that a male student was convicted of sexual assault as a result of an incident on campus in October 1995. The October incident was described in a November 1995 issue of the Gazette: a female student said a man followed her from the Library to the Science Building, where he rubbed his body against hers outside a classroom. Upon seeing the Gazette description of the assault, a second female said that she had endured a surprisingly similar incident on March 22, 1995. Charges were laid in the second incident, and on Dec. 10, 1996, the same man -- no longer a student at Memorial -- was convicted of sexual assault under summary conviction. He received a conditional discharge with three years' probation. The man has also been banned from the campus of Memorial University.

Incidents reported

The figures given below are based on the number of reports made to CEP during December 1996. Incidents reported do not necessarily result in criminal charges being laid; this depends on the outcome of an investigation.

Type of incident -- December '96

Physical assault 1

Sexual assault 0

Accidents 3

Fire alarms 4

Stalking 1

Indecent exposure 1

Theft/attempted theft 7

Disturbance 1

Vandalism 7


On Dec. 6, a male student reported being physically assaulted by three other males in the Student Centre. The male received a cut over his left eye.

One accident involved an explosion in the Earth Sciences Building on the afternoon of Dec. 24. Dr. Dimitri Shvedov, a postdoctoral fellow conducting research with Dr. Peter Tremaine, Chemistry, was working in laboratory ER-5003. Wally Drover, manager of Safety and Environmental Services at Memorial, explained that "During the course of an experiment being conducted in a fume hood [a protective mechanism used when working with gases] that involved compressed hydrogen gas, there was an equipment malfunction which resulted in an uncontrolled release of hydrogen gas into the fume hood. This resulted in an explosion which caused injuries to Dr. Shvedov." The researcher received minor burns to one hand and to his face. He was brought to the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) by ambulance, was treated, and released later that day. Another individual working in the lab was not injured. The lab itself received superficial damage -- ceiling tiles and glass cabinet doors were knocked out -- but there was no damage to research equipment, except for the fume hood. Mr. Drover said an investigation is currently under way which involves an explosives consultant from the fire department; the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the provincial government; Memorial's Safety and Environmental Services, which is working with Dr. Tremaine and the Department of Chemistry; and the Chemistry Safety Committee, a joint effort of the Centre for Earth Resources Research and the Department of Chemistry.

On Dec. 11, two vehicles collided at the intersection of Irwin's Road and Livyer's Loop. No one was injured. A third accident was reported Dec. 13. An unoccupied maintenance vehicle was parked in front of the Engineering Building when it was struck by another vehicle, which left the scene. The driver of the moving vehicle later reported the incident to CEP.

Only one of the four fire alarms to which CEP responded involved fire. This incident happened Dec. 15 at 2:37 a.m. Burnt toilet paper was discovered in a washroom (Room 425A) in Blackall House, Paton College. The incident is under investigation because CEP suspects the alarm was activated deliberately.

The stalking incident was reported Dec. 16. A woman said she was followed to the Library and through the building. She described the man who followed her as being tall with a thin build, short-to-medium length blonde hair, and wearing a brown leather jacket.

On Dec. 9, a woman reported seeing a male in his early 20s exposing himself to passers-by from the parking lot behind the Aquarena.

Several of the thefts and attempted thefts reported in December occurred when personal belongings were left unattended. In addition, on Dec. 5, a two-tone blue Cavalier was reported stolen from Area 2. And on Dec. 6, five laminated signs were stolen from Dairy Queen in the Student Centre food court; CEP has a suspect in that theft, based on security videotape. On Dec. 12 someone broke into a car parked in Area 36 and removed documents and identification from the glove compartment.

CEP responded to a disturbance in the Student Centre on Dec. 13 at 2:31 a.m. They found one male who had been hit in the face but who refused to go to the hospital for treatment, and a second who had put his hand through a glass door but who also left the scene before receiving medical attention. Several people were involved in fights near the Student Centre loading zone, but shortly after CEP arrived everyone left the scene.

The incidents of vandalism reported involved: damage to a billboard near the HSC (Dec. 16); furniture overturned in Room SN-2024, Science Building (Dec. 1); a broken glass door near the Breezeway in the Student Centre (Dec. 13); damage to trees in the square between the Arts and Administration Building and the Student Centre (Dec. 15); damage to a wall next to SC-2022j, Student Centre (Dec. 13); a telephone owned by Jiffy Cabs torn from the wall in the Student Centre (Dec. 16); and graffiti in a washroom and two elevators in the HSC (Dec. 26).