Washington Avenue Vandalisim Investigated

By Molly igoe

Elm Staff Writer

In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 4, three college-owned buildings on Washington Avenue were vandalized. The Sears House at 311 Washington Ave., also known as The Pub House, which houses The Elm and “The Collegian,” and The Rose O’Neill Literary House at 401 Washington Ave. were broken into and vandalized that night. A third building, a residence on Washington Avenue was also damaged.

According to an article about the crime written by Trish McGee in the Kent County News, Public Safety received a call reporting suspicious activity at the Literary House at 12:06 a.m. The responding officer saw an individual near the Literary House who fled when he approached. Upon surveying the building, the officer determined that it had been forcibly entered and property had been destroyed.

Public Safety officers and Chestertown police investigated other buildings on Washington Avenue, and discovered that the Sears House was also broken into and vandalized. The door of The Elm office, located at 311 Washington Ave., was kicked in. One computer was smashed and one was broken.

At 12:26 a.m. Public Safety received a call from a resident on 300 Washington Ave., who said that an object had been thrown through his back door.  Police and Public Safety responded immediately but were unable to catch a suspect.

At this time, investigators believe that the crime was not motivated by theft.

The following day, Director of Public Safety Gerald Roderick sent out a broadcast to inform students and faculty at Washington College that the suspect was likely suffering from a significant laceration. Blood was found at the Literary House and the Sears House, leading investigators to conclude that an individual involved in the vandalism injured themselves breaking into one of the buildings.

Roderick said, “I want to reiterate that this person did receive a serious laceration, and we’re still asking that if anyone has any information relevant to the issue to notify Public Safety or Chestertown Police immediately.”

The investigation is still ongoing and is being handled by the Chestertown Police and Public Safety working in collaboration. Roderick said that investigators have collected physical evidence from the crime scenes, and are interviewing  the student body to learn more about the timeline of the incidents. He and his officers have been retrieving data from the College’s surveillance systems to get more information regarding the incident.

Chief Adrian Baker of the Chestertown Police Department said, “I am hopeful to bring closure to the case soon, but at this time I have no idea how soon that may be.”

No one had been arrested as of press time Monday, April 13.

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