An investigation is underway after criminal mischief happened two nights in a row in Morehead Hall.
On Thursday, March 16, some students and faculty arrived at Morehead Hall to find it vandalized. In New Jersey, the crime commonly known as vandalism is referred to as criminal mischief.
The first-floor lounge in Morehead Hall is decorated with students’ photographs covering the walls. To the students’ and professors’ surprise, when arriving for classes around 12 p.m., they found the pictures flipped upside down, trash all over the floor and the pantry soaked in laundry detergent.
Chief of University Police, Kieran Barrett, received the report from faculty that this was the second day in a row this occurred.
“University Police received a report from an employee that wanted to report criminal mischief within the first-floor lounge area occurring over two days in the past,” Barrett said. “Someone appeared to have rearranged items in the room and left trash on the floor.”
As the investigation is ongoing this is the extent of information that UPD can give out at this time.
“Officers will continue to patrol this and other areas for after-hours use,” Barrett said. “This case is under investigation so that is the extent of what I can release at this stage and while not significant damage, we want to be sure it ends,” Barrett said. “If anyone has information regarding this case please contact us and speak with a detective.”
Two senior journalism and digital media students, Kyle Polillo and Ryan Breyta were arriving for their class early when they walked into the mess.
“I came down [to the first floor lounge] early for class to get some work done and all of the paintings and pictures were flipped upside down,” Breyta said. “I thought it was a joke at first or one of the professors did it to show an art piece or something.”
Polillo described the scene as disappointing.
“I saw all these paintings flipped upside down and crooked and it was kind of disappointing to see that,” Polillo said. “I thought it was a joke, but when Professor Franklin came in and said ‘Oh no, not again’ he seemed very upset about it which was unfortunate to see.”
Breyta was confused by the criminal mischief but wonders if there is a bigger issue.
“Professor [Thomas] Franklin came in and told us this has been happening for the past two days and I thought ‘oh my god, this is a more serious issue than what I thought,” Breyta said.
Once UPD arrived, Polillo and Breyta put all of the artwork back to its original positioning.
“We put [the pictures] back where they should be up and down the hallways,” Polillo said. “There was actually a note on the wall when we were cleaning up but the police took it and I did not get to read it.”