Police catch stranger in dorm

A 36-year-old man was apprehended by police at 11:03 p.m. on Sept. 17 after he was found loitering in Crispo apartments, Ted Marnen, director of Gannon University’s Campus Police and Safety, said.

No one was hurt, and one window was broken.

Marnen said Sgt. Dan Morales of Campus Police and Safety immediately responded to a call from resident students that a stranger had gotten into the apartment building.

Chad Woodrow, who has no listed address, was caught going into three student apartments, Marnen said.

Marnen said he saw Woodrow enter Crispo on the security camera. Woodrow first saw a student prop open the door to bring in clear plastic bags, which Marnen said he thought were probably his groceries. On the student’s last trip in, Woodrow appeared behind him. Woodrow followed the student into the building. The student went straight, and Woodrow walked upstairs, Marnen said.

Woodrow then knocked on a student’s door. When the student opened the door, Woodrow entered, and told the student he needed a place to hide because the police were looking for him, Marnen said.

The student then told Woodrow to leave, but he pushed his way into the apartment. He did the same thing in two other apartments, Marnen said. In the last apartment, he ran into the bedroom and jumped out the window, breaking the glass.

Marnen said he believes Woodrow might have jumped because he heard Sgt. Morales coming. Morales had told Marnen he heard glass breaking when he entered the apartment that Woodrow was in at the time.

As a result of the fall, Woodrow was taken to Hamot Medical Center and treated for a broken leg, three broken ribs and a broken clavicle, Marnen said.

He has since been released from the hospital and has been charged with criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. He was being held in the Erie County Prison on a $5,000 bail as of Tuesday.

Marnen declined to reveal the name of the student who let Woodrow in, or the students into whose rooms he trespassed.

Marnen said Woodrow wasn’t under the influence of alcoholic beverages at the time of the incident. However, he said he suspects Woodrow was under the influence of some “mind altering substances.” Marnen said the nature of these substances has not yet been confirmed.

Marnen said students can learn an important lesson from the incident. “Tailgating” – a term he used to describe when a person allows others to come into a building after them by leaving the door open – must be decreased on campus, he said.

Marnen said he doesn’t think students should stop letting in people that they know, but they should be more watchful of whom they let in.

“I hold the door for kids all the time, if I know they’re Gannon students, or they’re in their building,” he said. “I’m OK with that. But this guy was in his late 30s.”

Marnen said “tailgating” is a serious safety issue, but addressing it is simply a matter of everyone being more vigilant about watching who they let in the building after them.

TESSY PAWLOWSKI

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