Dozens of police officers responded to a security threat on campus last weekend, prompting a cross-country search that led to the detainment of one student later in the week.

A student barred from campus allegedly broke into an apartment bedroom in Henle Village on Sunday night, leading local and campus police to restrict access to parts of campus. The student evaded authorities after jumping out of the apartment’s third-story window but, according to a Metropolitan Police Department official, was found uninjured and has been detained in Ohio less than two days after the incident.

According to an MPD incident report, a resident of Henle 52 called Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety before 7 p.m. to report that a student who had been barred from Georgetown’s campus entered a bedroom in the apartment without permission. One of the apartment’s residents was the student’s girlfriend at the time, who does not attend Georgetown but is living in the apartment for the summer.

Several sources, including the girlfriend – who spoke on the condition of anonymity – identified the intruder as Winston Weatherspoon (MSB ’08). The girlfriend said that she has broken up with Weatherspoon since the incident.

Slightly before 8 p.m. on Sunday evening, Weatherspoon wrote on friend’s Facebook page that he had “jumped out a three-story window runnin from the cops.” About two hours later, he wrote, “Winston 3 – DPS – 0” on his own Facebook profile.

Weatherspoon could not be reached for comment.

MPD Second District Commander Andrew Solberg said that the suspect – he did not confirm Weatherspoon’s involvement – came to campus to visit someone and then barricaded himself inside the person’s bedroom. Entry into the apartment was not forced, the report says. DPS officials guarded entrances to Henle Village and restricted pedestrian access for several hours.

DPS Director Darryl Harrison said that after receiving the initial phone call, made anonymously, his office alerted MPD, which sent approximately a dozen squad cars and the Emergency Response Team to the scene. Several university administrators were also present, including Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategic Development Daniel Porterfield. The police left the scene just before midnight.

When ERT officers – whom several witnesses said resembled a SWAT team – entered the apartment, they found the bedroom empty and the window “ripped open, ” according to the PD report. Solberg said that after barricading himself inside the room, the suspect had apparently escaped out of the third floor window. Based on the location of the apartment, the suspect likely escaped through the campus of Georgetown Visitation School.

Solberg said that the suspect has since been “confined to an institution” in Ohio, where he apparently fled after escaping from the apartment. Detectives from MPD, which handled the investigation, had been in contact with local police in Ohio since the incident. Weatherspoon’s hometown is Cleveland.

Although Solberg would not elaborate on the suspect’s whereabouts, he said that MPD had received an arrest warrant for his unlawful entry.

“We knew very quickly who the suspect was,” Solberg said.

Solberg said that the crime would be classified as a misdemeanor, and that the suspect may face up to a year in prison if charges are pressed.

Harrison declined to comment on why the student had been barred from campus. Judy Johnson, the university’s director of student conduct, said that a conditional suspension from campus would require a student to be “completely separated from university facilities, programs, services and grounds” for a specified period of time. Failure to comply with the conditions of the suspension would merit a Category B violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

“The suspension could be extended, or we could now be looking at a dismissal. So it’s a serious situation,” said Johnson, who declined to speak specifically about any individual.

Harrison said that DPS has “continued to provide the appropriate level of patrols” on and around campus since the incident. Special Assistant for Public Affairs Julie Green Bataille posted a brief statement on the school’s Web site on Monday morning, but the university did not send out a broadcast e-mail to the school community, as it often does for safety incidents that occur on or near campus.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.