Senior Katherine Lesswing and one of her roommates, Ashley Sipe, heard a dog barking outside their living unit in Rector Village sometime after 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The barking was coming from a police K9 who had recognized the scent of a man known to the Greencastle police.
“The Greencastle police attempted to stop a young man who lives in that area, somewhere between Hanna street and Berry street,” said Angela Nally, Director of Public Safety at DePauw University. “They believe that he had warrant for a probation violation for a non-violent charge and they were trying to locate him.”
Students in the area that evening were informed about the situation.
“The police came to Chabraja because the dog sniffed the fugitive scent to the Chabraja area by our door,” said Lesswing. “The guy was unarmed and not considered dangerous.”
The man had run away from the police after an interaction between the two parties at the intersection of Bloomington and Hanna Streets for another reason. Nally was unsure of why the Greencastle police were interacting with him but does know that they know the man to be non-violent and if they needed to locate him, they know exactly who he is and where he lives.
Nally confirmed that the man was definitely not in the building, and there are many possibilities as to why the K9 track could have led to that location.
Kathryn Manalo, another Chabraja resident returned home to her apartment in Rector Village around 1:30 a.m. and saw the officers outside the building.
Manalo said, “they asked if they could inspect the building and they did.”
Nally said the officers were appreciative of the student residents’ cooperation.
“It was totally voluntary, they didn’t have to let the police in, but they did.”
Manolo was aware that the officers were taking precautionary measures but also mentioned that the police left without updating her on the situation.
Nally said that after checking the security cameras, the man had not run through the parking lot at all.
“It was a precaution on the part of the Greencastle police to make sure that he had not entered the building,” said Nally.
Public Safety also sent the officer on duty to the area to act as a liaison between the students and the police. The CLCD on call was also asked to check the area that evening.
Nally asked CLCD to follow up with the students living in that area to let them know the situation was not dangerous.
“We didn’t want our students to feel like there was a violent fugitive on campus,” said Nally.
The next morning, Amanda Halfacre from the CLCD office sent out an email to the residents of that area to inform them that the situation was not dangerous and that there is no current threat to their safety.
“It was a local law enforcement action, which they were perfectly within their rights to do and we tried to mitigate the effect on our students the best we could,” said Nally. “We knew there was no threat to the immediate safety of campus and that is why we did not send out an emergency alert.”