Students still reeling from campus arrest on Friday

Students gather around cop cars Friday outside of JDH (Brandon Ramey/AQ)
Students gather around cop cars Friday outside of JDH (Brandon Ramey/AQ)

Peter McComb walked out of Sir James Dunn Hall as Fredericton police approached a man and arrested him.

“He seemed pretty cooperative the whole time, although clearly irritated,” said the third-year student.

McComb described the man as blond and small with a leather jacket.

On Friday, STU staff noticed a suspicious individual in JDH who it was thought might be carrying a firearm and reported it to UNB Security, which then contacted city police.

Fredericton police responded right away. The upper and lower courtyard was filled with about six cop cars as students watched the man being arrested.

When the man was searched and arrested, he had no firearm or weapons. He was taken into custody, interviewed by police and released later that day.

McComb thought the university handled the situation well.

“Some people are cynical about the fact that a guy who turned out to be completely unarmed got detained for being ‘suspicious’ but as I see it, if the administration hears there might be someone armed…I’d much rather they took the cautious approach,” he said.

“I didn’t even know anything was happening until the police were already here, so it’s nice to know if there was an actual threat, that would probably still be the case,” said McComb.

Fourth-year student Rodrigo Flores thinks the university should have better communicated to students and staff what was happening.

Flores was coming out of his class in Margaret McCain Hall when his friend asked if he had been in lockdown too. She was in Brian Mulroney Hall when it happened.

“I said no, I didn’t even have any idea what was going on,” he said. “I don’t feel unsafe at STU. I just don’t feel confident in the university’s abilities to communicate a lockdown to the student body and staff.”

Judging from events Friday, Flores doesn’t believe STU has an efficient enough emergency plan.

The university says it will address security and emergency plans questions sometime this week but it was not available to the Aquinian for deadline.

Communications officer Jeffrey Carleton said although he thinks the university responded well, the university will de-brief to make sure everything was handled as well as possible.

Second-year Chris Brooks said he still feels safe on campus.

“I wasn’t there when it happened, but I was there when all the cops were surrounding the courtyard.”

“I feel completely safe, I don’t think there would have been anyway for the university to prevent what did happen,” he said. “I think the situation was dealt with just fine.”

Autumn Locke said she doesn’t feel unsafe at STU either.

“Stuff like that can happen anywhere,” said the second-year student. “I think that from what I’ve heard, STU handled it great and the police were quick to handle everything. If anything, I feel safer because of how well the situation was handled.”

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