By Sherry Sokolowski
Person Found Sleeping in Bostwick Commons
On Aug. 11 at 11:09 a.m., Grand Rapids Community College Police Officers Kaye Newberry and Robert Peters were on patrol and came across a man sleeping in the Bostwick commons. He had a few plastic bags with him. The officers woke him up and asked if he was a student, which he was not. He had thought the area he was in was owned by the church. The man had an officer safety caution, but other than that his record was clear. The officers have not had contact with the man since 2019. They explained the area was owned by Grand Rapids Community College and that he was trespassing.
Car Damaged in a Hit and Run
Also on Aug. 11, at 12:05 p.m., a student came into the GRCC police department to report a hit and run in the Bostwick ramp, level six. Officer Martin Ruiz went with her to survey the damage. He saw the rear hatch was damaged. Earlier that day, she left the parking ramp and returned an hour later to park her car. Around 5:30 p.m. she left campus and drove home. Once she got home about an hour later, she discovered damage to her car. She sent Officer Ruiz photos of the damage and he was going to file a report for her, but the student and her father decided against it.
Four People Caught Skateboarding in College Park Plaza Ramp
On Aug. 13 at 1:24 p.m., Officers Timothy Nelson and Thomas Stasiak were sent to the lower level of the College Park Plaza parking ramp to investigate a report of four people skateboarding. When they arrived, the officers saw four men sitting on the ground with their skateboards. Two of the men were identified with their driver’s licenses and permits. The other two had no identification with them. None of the men had contact with the GRCC police in the past and they were from the Kalamazoo area. They were issued a verbal warning that skateboarding on GRCC property is prohibited. They said they understood and left.
Man Needing an Ambulance, Arrested due to Warrant
On Aug. 16 while patrolling, Officer Kaye Newberry saw a Grand Rapids Fire Department truck drive up Fountain Street with its lights and sirens on. Officer Newberry asked if they were there because of a fire alarm, but they said they were there for a medical emergency on the south end of the Juan Olivarez Plaza. The man was sitting at a GRCC table using the phone charger. He was identified and was not a GRCC student.
He complained of a herniated disc in his back and requested an ambulance due to a back injury from six years ago. The ambulance then arrived on scene. Police determined that the man had a warrant from the Grand Rapids Police Department due to criminal sexual conduct to an incapicated person.
Officer Newberry talked with staff and then agreed to go to the hospital and wait for GRPD to arrive. She helped the ambulance crew escort the man inside the hospital and stayed with him in the emergency room. At 3 p.m. the man was discharged and because there wasn’t a GRPD officer present, Newberry handcuffed him and searched him. She took him to the Kent County Correctional Facility and GRPD was notified.
Man Found Sleeping on Campus
On Aug. 17 at 10:23 p.m., Officers Zack Penniman and Thomas Stasiak made contact with a homeless man sleeping in between the Applied Technology Center and the Library and Learning Commons while checking buildings. He was told he wasn’t allowed to sleep on GRCC property. Initially, he refused to leave the property but after talking with police, he left. He had been previously given a warning and was told if he was on GRCC property again, he could be arrested.
Trespassing Complaint in the Enrollment Center
On Aug. 24 at 9:52 a.m. Officers Martin Ruiz and Timothy Nelson were sent to the GRCC Enrollment Center due to a trespassing complaint. The staff members recognized the man from previous interactions and were told by campus police if he showed up he would have to leave, due to not being allowed on campus property. The man said he was here to settle student loan troubles with the Financial Aid Office. He had an order stating he wasn’t allowed to purchase or possess any firearms and could not be within four blocks of GRPD. After speaking with the man, it was determined that he could stay on campus as long as he was there on student business. He was told that he could be arrested in the future because the campus is within four blocks of GRPD. When he was wanting to leave, the officers escorted him off campus and watched him leave.
GRCC Student Sleeping in Cook Hall
On Aug. 24, Officer Kaye Newberry was sent to the first floor of Cook Hall in regards to a man “looking sad” according to a caller who wanted campus police to check on him. Officer Newberry had recognized the man from prior interactions with him. He was a homeless man found sleeping in a few GRCC buildings and he was found to be a GRCC student. He understood that he wasn’t supposed to be sleeping in the building, but he said he was cold. He said he was enrolled in fall courses so that he could utilize the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse facilities to shower. He also said he needed to use the library to study for the upcoming fall semester. Officer Newberry explained that he couldn’t sleep in there and he understood and left.
Missing Person Said to be Located on GRCC Campus, found in Muskegon
At 8:20 p.m. on Aug. 26, a lady came into the lobby of the GRCC Police Department to get help finding her daughter was missing and that they were from Newaygo. The woman said she had already reported this to the Michigan State Police and wanted to notify the GRCC police that the bounty hunting agency that she hired to help find her daughter sent her a GPS hit on a cell phone located near the Ford Fieldhouse. She showed Officer Kam Robles a screenshot of the hit and she was also told that it could be within a general area within a wide radius. A description of the girl was obtained and the officers proceeded to search the entirety of campus to ensure she was not there. The next day Newaygo county dispatch was contacted and it was discovered that the girl was found safe in Muskegon and returned home.