By Sherry Sokolowski
Student Extorted through Facebook Instant Messaging
At 6:26 p.m. on May 5, Officer Thomas Stasiak was told that two GRCC students were advised to report to campus police. He met with the victim and his brother and found out the victim was being extorted by an unknown male. The victim explained that a female instant messaged him on Facebook and then it eventually turned to video chat through Facebook. He stated that the female began to remove her clothing until she was nude and then convinced him to remove his clothing. He admitted that he did remove his clothes and shortly afterwards, the connection with the girl ended – and not by him.
After a few minutes, he received another instant message from an unknown individual. The message was a nude photo of him from earlier and they said the photos would be put out on the internet if he didn’t pay $2,000. He turned to the college looking for help and was directed to campus police to find out what exactly to do. His address fell within the city limits of Kentwood, so the Kentwood Police Department was notified and the situation was explained.
Stasiak transported the brothers to the Kentwood police station and they met with an officer who had been assigned to the complaint. The Kentwood officer said they deal with these types of situations frequently and he will get as much information as possible before it goes to their detective unit.
Individual Trespassing on Campus with Knife
At 6:51 a.m. on April 29, Officer Paul Coulson discovered a homeless individual sleeping under the Ameritech vents on Winchester Pl NE. There was a concern that the individual might be struck by vehicles using the street. She had prior contact with the Grand Rapids Community College Police Department for trespassing on campus without being on college business. She requested help from a man who is a local homeless artist that works at Fountain Street church who happened to be walking by during this incident.
While gathering her property, the individual exposed an open three-inch knife. Coulson requested she hand over the knife until she was ready to leave to ensure both of them were safe. She said “I don’t think so,” and repeatedly ignored Coulson’s requests to give it up. Eventually, she angrily threw it on the ground and Coulson retrieved the knife once Officer Tony Myers arrived as back up. With the man’s assistance, the woman gathered the remainder of her things and left the area. The scene was then cleared and the knife was destroyed.