As Delta College students and police officers gathered together for “Coffee with a Cop” on Sept. 7, the event was interrupted when concerned students reported suspicious activity.
“Students report seeing a Hispanic guy in a grey shirt, acting agitated while walking through the quad while holding a dictionary in his hand and making comments about wanting to hurt people,” said Officer Jim Bock.
Officers spread out over campus in search of the suspect, who was found lying on the grass in front of the DeRicco Student Services Building.
“There weren’t any known weapons at the time, but once the suspect was searched for weapons, we found a machete sticking out of the top of his backpack,” said Bock.
Despite quick police response, some students still don’t feel safe on campus.
For Delta student Denise Toral, feeling unsafe on campus has become a familiar emotion to her.
“Sometimes I don’t feel safe, whenever I’m there its always empty. I feel nervous when there’s not a lot of people, or when people have their headphones in, because they wouldn’t be able to notice or help if something happened,” said Toral.
Officer Susan McAnelly gives safety presentations in classrooms around campus.
“Students can request a safety presentation by asking their teacher, and I am more than happy to come in,” said McAnelly.
McAnelly also plans on starting a free self-defense class in the near future.
Delta student Alesa Zerka said that communication is the key to feeling safer on campus.
“It’s very important to speak up so other people can listen and learn and see what’s going on. It’s also very important to have communication between us and the cops so we know what’s going on, on both sides,” said Zerka.
The man was then arrested and a tip to campus was sent out explaining the incident and included a picture of the machete.
“Had it not been for students coming forward with the machete incident, he would not have been on our radar,” said Bock.