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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Schafer

Multiple Sebastian Commons apartments broken into, suspect arrested

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Article updated on 4/6

Three Sebastian Commons apartments had their windows broken by a non-resident late Monday night. With help from the Fort Smith Police Department, University Police apprehended the suspect shortly after.

According to witnesses, a currently unidentified man wandered the grounds of the Sebastians Commons sometime around 10 PM before breaking the windows of one apartment in Building 4 and two in Building 8. The man entered one of the apartments in 8, but nothing has been reported as stolen.

“I was one of the RAs on-call last night and was helping clean up after an event with Kappa Sigma Fraternity when I got a call from my wife,” Residence Assistant Joey Olguin said in a statement. “I sprinted from the Campus Center to Building 8 and when I got there, two officers were detaining the man who caused the disturbance.”

Eyewitnesses have reported that the man seemed to be under the influence of an illegal substance and was screaming about being chased.

“Me and my roommate looked outside and saw this guy breaking glass. He saw us and came towards us,” said Caroline Mikel, one of the residents of the apartment that was broken into. “He started yelling ‘Call the police’ and broke into our apartment by shattering the window with his fist.”

Several students living in the Commons have brought up the issue of security in the wake of this incident. Although fenced on three sides of the grounds, the Commons remain entirely open on its southeastern side, which could contribute to residents’ comments about security.

Interim Director of Housing Stephanie London has issued a statement regarding the incident, in which she details a plan of action to increase security on campus.

"As a long-term measure, the university is also launching a campus-wide plan to upgrade and increase the number of security cameras around campus buildings, along campus walkways, and throughout parking lots to deter further crime and hold criminals accountable," the email sent Tuesday afternoon reads.

In addition to these planned measures, University Police has increased patrols around the commons and have implemented an escort system. Students can call UPD at 479-788-7140 to request a police escort around campus.

The email also includes information on the Student Emergency Assistance Program, an allotment of funds set aside to assist students who have been impacted by unexpected expenses.

"Your safety and wellness are our top priority, and I want to assure you that we are expanding our comprehensive safety measures and working to counter the recent incidences of criminal activity" London states.

Students impacted by this event should contact the UAFS Counseling Center at 479-788-7398 to schedule an appointment if needed.


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