Student Arrested In Library Break-In

by Jake Hawkins
Staff

Transylvania University sophomore Johnathan Blaine Stull has been arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, a Class D felony, in connection to the break-in at the Transy library, according to Sarah Emmons, associate vice president for communications and public relations.

The break-in at the J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library occurred around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning when, according to Stephen Leist, circulations services supervisor, the window of media preview room No. 2 was kicked in.

“The alarm went off and notified us that there was motion inside the library,” said Director of Public Safety Richard Cook. “We sent an officer over there. He observed a broken window; he called for assistance from metro police.”

The Lexington police department, according to Cook, searched the building with the K-9 unit, but the suspect had already escaped. Stull was later arrested by Transy’s Department of Public Safety. Cook could not discuss further details of the case, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

Pending trial, Stull has been suspended from the university, according to Mike Vetter, vice president and dean of students.

“When something like this happens we have a policy in our student handbook that allows me, as the dean of students, to interimly suspend someone pending a hearing. So that’s what has gone on in this situation,” said Vetter.

The university may choose to pursue its own disciplinary actions in addition to any legal proceedings.

“We can have our own separate judicial hearings … and that’s what we’ll do,” said Vetter. “Some of this is going to be up to the student. Oftentimes, in some of these situations, the student decides to withdraw from the school. … There’s lots of factors that go into these kinds of decisions for both the student and for the university.”

In response to the break-in a T-Alert was issued, though the library resumed normal operations almost immediately.

“The (media preview) room is not closed, the window has been replaced,” said Susan Brown, the library’s director. “The intruder was caught within five minutes of being in the building, is my understanding. I’m pleased with the way that DPS responded and the way things were handled.”

Brown emphasized that the library’s security policies are being re-examined.

This incident is not the first time legal misconduct has occurred in the library. In March 2010 two female students reported seeing an unknown male committing lewd acts on the main floor of the library. In January 2009 a similar incident occurred when a female student claimed that she was studying in the second floor stacks around 8 p.m. when a man exposed himself to her and began performing inappropriate acts. Neither incident resulted in arrests.

Another, more famous incident in December 2004 garnered national headlines. Four people, one of whom was later identified as Transy student Spencer Reinhard, robbed the special collections area of the Transy library, stealing more than $100,000 worth of rare books. B.J. Gooch, special collections librarian, was also shot with a Taser during the incident. In this instance, the perpetrators, who disguised themselves as characters from the movie “Reservoir Dogs,” were not caught until months later when they attempted to sell the stolen goods to an auction house in New York.

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