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Campus Confrontation Ends with Professor Handcuffed

Campus Confrontation Ends with Professor Handcuffed

Story by Carter Solomon

Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Number of views (20174)

Friday, April 5, 2013, an incident occurred between a Fort Lewis College police officer and an FLC faculty member.

No arrest was made, and no injuries were sustained, according to a statement provided by Glenna Sexton, the vice president of student affairs.

The incident is currently being investigated, and the officer is on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation, the statement stated.

Matthew Clark, a resident in Animas Hall, was one of the first people to respond to the incident, and provided a copy of his statement that he gave to the campus police.

It was an altercation between Justin McBrayer, an assistant professor of philosophy, who declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation, and a campus police officer who also declined comment.

There was a heated discussion between the two, Clark said.

After the confrontation began, the officer attempted to grab McBrayer and force him to the ground, Clark said.

“I want to note that Dr. McBrayer made no motion prior to the officer grabbing him that could be deemed as threatening physical violence,” Clark said.

The confrontation involved the reported presence of an unsupervised child walking around Animas Hall, he said.

McBrayer began to explain to the officer that he is a faculty member living in the hall, and that his son had asked to pick up trash outside the hall and help clean up the neighborhood, Clark said.

McBrayer also explained that he was helping students in the residence hall’s kitchen area, which is not far away from where his son was cleaning, he said.

McBrayer did resist the officer’s attempts, Clark said.

The officer called for assistance, and once city police showed up McBrayer was placed in hand cuffs, Clark said.

This was a misunderstanding, and all parties involved would like to move past this unfortunate event, said FLC Police Officer Ron Balsz, the responding officer in an email.

Campus police have jurisdiction over the campus, but they are certified like any Colorado police officer, Julie Love said, the director of student housing and conference services.

In many cases, housing staff handles situations in the residence halls, so long as the offence is minor, and residents involved are compliant, she said.

Campus officers are welcome to do patrolling and relationship building in and around the campus, she said.

“There are times where they come upon an incident or something that they feel the need to confront that we find out about after the fact,” Love said. 


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