Home Featured News GRCC Police assist with mental health crisis, investigate trespassing and property damage

GRCC Police assist with mental health crisis, investigate trespassing and property damage

(Blace Carpenter/The Collegiate)

By James Herold

Damaged Gate Arm on Ramp A

On July 3 at approximately 6:31 a.m., the Grand Rapids Community College Police Department was dispatched to the report of a damaged gate arm on the first floor of GRCC’s Ramp A (140 Bostwick Ave NE). Dispatch stated that the caller was a GRCC Facilities employee. Upon arrival, GRCC Police made contact with the employee adjacent to the southernmost exit. 

The employee explained that he observed the damage to the gate arm at noon on July 2. He believed it most likely occurred on July 1 due to the city’s fireworks celebration taking place that night with its associated volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. He added that he contacted Ellis Parking on July 2 and that they responded on the same date and affixed a temporary wooden gate arm until a proper replacement could be installed. 

GRCC Police observed damage to the gate arm, the gate arm station, and the associated pay station. Ellis Parking estimated the damaged gate arm to be approximately $300 in value. 

Photographs were taken on scene by GRCC Police and the employee. It should be noted that the damage was to an exit station and gate arm, and the arm itself was bent inward. 

Ellis Parking was also contacted on July 2 due to their access to potential video surveillance covering the area. The employee from Ellis Parking advised that she would not be in their office again until July 5.

On July 10, GRCC Police followed up with the Ellis Parking employee, and she displayed video footage regarding the incident. An unknown male was seen bending the gate arm inward on July 1 at approximately 8:08 p.m. in an irate state. He came from the direction of the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza (140 Bostwick Ave NE). The male had an afro hairstyle and wore a short-sleeved shirt and long pants. No further description was available. No vehicle was involved.

Graffiti found on Gate Arm Controller

GRCC Police were dispatched to an MDOP (malicious destruction of property) report. Dispatch said that the building manager reported graffiti to the covert of the gate arm controller. Upon arrival, GRCC Police found the graffiti and it appeared to be written with a black marker. The graffiti consisted of the letter “B” drawn on the gate arm. The damage was done between 4:30 p.m. on July 4 and 10:30 a.m. on July 6. There is no suspect information. 

Distressed woman is helped by GRCC Police

On July 23, GRCC Police assisted a woman in distress after she reported that she was feeling suicidal. When GRCC Police met with her, she told GRCC Police that she has been suicidal for a while. She later requested to be transported to St. Mary’s Hospital, and dispatch already had an ambulance en route. Her breathing seemed to be normal, and she indicated that she felt okay aside from being a little dizzy. When the ambulance arrived, American Medical Response (AMR) personnel loaded her into the ambulance and transported her to St. Mary’s Hospital. If you feel like you or a loved one seems to be at risk of suicide, call 911 or 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 

Trespasser in the Library 

On July 28 at  9:37 a.m., GRCC Police were dispatched to the library in regard to a possible trespasser. Dispatch said that there was a man in the library who had trespassed into the library several times recently. The man caused a disturbance in the library on July 27. He was gone before the officers arrived on that date. Library staff were told to contact the GRCC Police Department if he returned.

Upon arrival of a GRCC officer, the man exited the building with another officer directly behind him. Upon seeing the officer in front of him, the man stopped and began acting very agitated. The other officer said that he was trying to talk to him inside the building. The man was saying that he was illegally reading books. When asked if he was a current student at GRCC, he said that he plans to be a student in 2024. The officer asked if he was a current student during the 2023 summer semester, in which the man said no. The man gave his name which was given to dispatch for a records check. He came back with a mental order (a order put into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) for individuals involuntarily hospitalized, involuntarily undergoing a program of alternative treatment, or a combined hospitalization and alternative treatment) and a clean record. 

GRCC Police explained to the man that because he is not a student and because of his inappropriate behavior in the library recently, he is not welcomed back to the college. He was also told that if he was seen on GRCC property in the future, he is subject to arrest for trespassing. He said he understood and left. 

GRCC Police later found that this same man was part of an incident on April 25, where library staff called complaining that he was too loud. 

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