Suspect arrested on sexual assault charges
A female student in an English classroom at Pima Community College’s Coalition Center experienced an unwanted advance by a male student on July 25.
According to the campus police report, a female student told campus police officer Rebecca Thifault that a male had walked behind her while she was seated in a chair and had reached for her left elbow with his left hand.
The man ran his hand over her shoulder, then reached over her shoulder and squeezed her left breast. The student pushed the man’s hand away, left the classroom and spoke to Thifault immediately, pointing out the man as he was leaving the classroom.
Using the classroom roster, a possible suspect was identified. When questioned by Officer Joshua Blum, the man said that he had been involved in an argument over a pen that an the woman had taken from him.
The man said he was trying to retrieve his pen and any contact with the woman’s breast was purely accidental.
A classroom volunteer corroborated the woman’s report although he didn’t see the man touch her breast. He also did not see any sign of a dispute over a pen. The woman also denied that there was a pen involved.
Based on the statements received by the Tucson Police Department from campus police, a warrant was issued for the man’s arrest. TPD executed the warrant on Sept. 19.
-By Robyn Zelickson
PCCPD investigates domestic dispute at West Campus
By Brittney Young
Pima Community College Police were called to West Campus on Sept. 18 for a domestic violence dispute between two married ISS janitorial employees.
Officer Anthony French met a male employee at the south stairs of the F building. The man said he and his wife were having an argument through text that escalated to a confrontation.
He told French he had placed his hands on her arm to keep her in place. He then threw his keys and an energy drink at her.
ISS Supervisor Patricia Valenzuela told police officer Shad Pace, that she had walked into the room and the two were screaming at each other. She said she saw the man slam his wife to the ground.
Pace spoke to the wife who at first was hesitant to speak. She later told the officer that her husband had thrown his keys and hit her in the back. Pace observed no signs of physical injury.
Pace determined he had probable cause to place the man under arrest. He was transported to the Pima County Jail where he was booked.
-By Robyn Zelickson
By VALERIE TURCIOS
The Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus library is being redesigned to include an Integrated Learning Center, thanks to a $2.6 million Title V grant.
The library has temporarily moved to the Pueblo building, Ocotillo Room, during the renovation process.
The cost of the redesign will total between $800,000 and $1 million, says Executive Director for Community Relations Libby Howell.
According to the Pima website, Desert Vista campus received the Title V grant for the integration and expansion of student resources on campus.
Title V is a program through the U.S. Department of Education that helps Hispanic-serving institutions improve their services.
The Integrated Learning Center will include a tutoring center, adult education, study area and computer commons. The redesign will also add space for faculty training and more student success skills training.
As of now, they are still in the design phase and hope to be done by the end of 2015, to begin construction. Once construction begins, it could take up to a year to complete.
There are some that are skeptical and don’t think the new design will enhance the library. Students will be able to find everything in one place, but it will be a smaller area for the library.
Library Director Tony Arroyo has hope for the renovations, but is afraid the library will suffer. “I believe the area is too small for everything they want to do,” he said. “Time will tell.”
By MICKEY RAY LAMB
The Pima Community College Department of Public Safety has issued a college-wide “Timely Warning” encouraging students to practice good safety measures.
The warning came after an assault was reported at the Downtown Campus on April 8.
PCC police gave this account:
A Downtown Campus police officer patrolling the east-side parking lot at about 9 a.m. heard screaming coming from the campus marquee area near Speedway Boulevard and Stone Avenue.
The officer witnessed a female Pima student being knocked to the ground by a male suspect. The male then ran northbound on Stone Avenue in front of the campus.
The officer and a male Pima student apprehended the suspect, Paul Joseph Lilly of Tucson.
The victim told police the suspect grabbed her cell phone and knocked her to the ground. Medical personnel treated the student at the scene for minor injuries.
Police said Lilly, 34, admitted to being under the influence of methadone and morphine.
Lilly was treated at the scene for minor injuries and for a possible drug overdose. After being cleared by medical personnel, he was booked into the county jail.
Campus police urged students to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to limit distractions such as music and cell phone use.
They also reminded students that campus emergency blue phones give students direct access to the PCC police department at all times.
The phones can be found in varied locations at each of Pima’s six campuses.
BY ANDREW PAXTON
Pima Community College recently issued a pair of warnings after assault incidents on or near Downtown Campus.
According to PCC police, a man approached a student in the campus parking lot Nov. 13 and asked the student if his vehicle had any weapons, money or food.
When the student retreated to his vehicle, the man followed and attempted to gain entry into the student’s vehicle, the warning said. The man then continued through the parking lot and at one point threw rocks at three family members.
The man, identified by police as Kurt Wagner, was arrested, but made comments about returning to campus and hurting the victims in the case, according to the warning. Police said Wagner appeared impaired.
The next day, a PCC officer on foot patrol noticed a man who appeared to be in distress walking across the campus’ east parking lot with another male and a female who were assisting him.
The man told the officer he had been stabbed in the chest near the Circle K at 130 E. Speedway Blvd., across the street from Downtown Campus.
The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He told police he had been stabbed by an unknown person over an alcoholic beverage.
Campus police arrested a man at Pima Community College East Campus on Dec. 4 after a cafeteria employee noticed that he was carrying a gun.
The cafeteria worker notified the PCC Department of Public Safety officer on duty at the campus. Not long after, other DPS officers responded and took the man into custody.
Officers discovered the man was not a PCC student and the gun was unloaded.
The man was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant and was booked into the Pima County Jail. No threat was made and no students were harmed.
PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert sent a letter to campus employees informing them of the incident and praising the quick actions of those involved.
“The arrest took place with no disruption to East Campus’ operations, thanks to our officers’ decisive work and keen observation by the cafeteria employee,” he wrote.
The arrest comes as the college continues to assess security on campuses. PCC has hired Security Risk Management Consultants LLC through 2014 to help the college determine areas where security needs to be improved.
Lambert thinks the security firm will continue to improve security on campus.
“To bring in people that have a broader perspective … that’s an asset,” Lambert said during an October interview.
The security firm’s contract with PCC is worth $86,000.
-By Brenda Pacheco
A student reported Aug. 26 that she was assaulted near the Desert Vista Campus.
The assault occurred just after noon as the student was walking to a Desert Vista class from the bus stop at Drexel and 12th Avenue, according to the PCC Department of Public Safety.
As the student crossed into a dirt area between Drexel and the north campus parking lot, a “transient-looking” male motioned her over to him. When she got closer, the male grabbed the student’s arm.
The student told police she broke away from his grip and ran to the campus police office. College police searched the area, but did not locate the suspect.
The student described the suspect as Caucasian, in his late 30s to early 40s, with short hair and a beard. He had a small build, standing about 5 feet, 7 inches and weighing about 140 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt with stripes. It is not known in what direction he traveled.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 911 or 88-Crime.
A man was assaulted and robbed at the Downtown Campus on March 17, while Pima Community College was closed and students and faculty were away for Spring Break.
Although no one associated with PCC was involved in the incident, the college circulated a Campus Watch bulletin via email to all registered students and staff.
Sending the bulletin to everyone is a change in school protocol, stemming from an attempted sexual assault at Downtown Campus in January.
“It is important to provide you with as much information as possible about crimes that occur on or near our campuses,” PCC Police Chief Stella Bay said in the email.
A man and woman were crossing through the parking lot on the north side of campus when the man was attacked by another male, according to the bulletin.
The assailant stole money from the man’s wallet and fled the scene. The woman then called the PCC Police Department.
The victim was not seriously injured and declined medical treatment. The woman was unharmed.
The suspect was described as a black male with dreadlocks, 25-30 years old, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing between 160-180 pounds.
Anyone with information is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
By CHELO GRUBB
In a Feb. 14 email to Pima employees, interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles said the college will look into an opt-in text message system to alert students and staff about on-campus incidents. The college hopes to have a plan in December.
“If we can get it done sooner, we will,” PCC spokesman C.J. Karamargin said in an email.. “First and foremost, we want to get it right. Our goal is to move as quickly as possible.”
The college notified students taking classes at Downtown Campus via email the day after the robbery.
“We recognize that issuing a bulletin the day after an incident involving public safety occurs, as was the case last month, is too late,” Miles said in her email.
Other safety changes will be taking place more immediately.
For future incidents, the college is considering sending notifications to all Pima emails, updating the website more immediately and asking faculty to read a notice in their classes.
“Our No. 1 goal is public safety. If there is an imminent threat to public safety – violent activity, hazards or major disruptions – people should know about it as quickly as possible,” Karamargin said. “A car that is broken into at a campus parking lot, for example, would not rise to this level.”
The college is also looking into the possibility of having “Shooter Drill Training” this summer and adding to PCC’s Department of Public Safety staff.
Miles’ email says an informational video including “active shooter information” is being placed on the college’s intranet.
By the end of May, the college plans to have a radio for each campus’ Action Team hooked up to PCC’s Department of Public Safety. May 31 is also the deadline for each campus to develop an emergency safety plan for the student services area.
The college has set a Jan. 21, 2014 deadline an external agency audit safety practices and will look into the legality of locking classroom doors from the inside.
The Jan. 18 robbery and attempted assault is still under investigation, with no new information available.
The suspect is a black male with dreadlocks, early 20s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-11. Anyone with details is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
By ANDREW PAXTON
A Pima Community College police report, obtained by Aztec Press on Feb. 1, offers some details about the Jan. 18 assault at Downtown Campus.
When PCC released information about the attack, it was referred to as an armed robbery and “attempted sexual assault.”
However, the police report states that a Sexual Assault Kit was requested and later administered at Tucson Medical Center.
The report also indicates that “processed evidence” was given to a police officer, transported to Pima College Police Headquarters and stored in a refrigerator and lockers.
Drugs may have been a contributing circumstance in the incident, according to the police report.
The report the Aztec Press received excluded most details concerning the incident, including what happened and how the victim escaped. Pima sometimes redacts police reports involving students, citing privacy laws.
As of press time, PCC officials had not responded to requests for additional information about the attack.
Students taking classes at Downtown Campus were notified about the incident through their Pima email.
Those outside of Downtown Campus were not informed, including faculty members from other campuses who were required to attend a meeting at the campus the following week.
The suspect is a black male with dreadlocks, early 20s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-11. Anyone with details is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
A collision involving a van and a motorcycle occurred on Stone Avenue Feb. 11 just after 3 p.m. in front of PCC Downtown Campus.
A report from the PCC Department of Public Safety said witnesses identified a man as the operator of the motorcycle. The man parked the motorcycle and walked toward the campus buildings without responding to an officer’s lights or siren. The man was bleeding from the elbow, but refused medical attention the officer offered.
A records search showed the motorcycle had been reported stolen. The man claimed a friend loaned him the bike, but could provide no further details. He was arrested on charges of theft, displaying a fictitious license, driving while suspended and not having car insurance.
The owner of the can assessed damage to his vehicle at $2,500. He was not charged with any violations.
-By Nina Elliott
Laptop missing from West Campus
A laptop computer valued at $1,500 was reported missing from Pima Community College’s West Campus Disabled Student Resource Center on March 22.
Employees told campus police the laptop turned up missing during an inventory check. It had been checked out by a center employee in 2007, and never returned. The employee left PCC employment in 2009, and is believed to have relocated to Texas.
A check by Information Technology Services showed the computer was last connected to the Internet in 2008. Efforts to locate the ex-employee were unsuccessful.
-By Joel Gantt
Student cited after classroom dispute
Pima Community College police responded to a disturbance call at West Campus on March 12 after a dispute about an unassigned seat in a computer classroom.
The investigating officer arrived just after 9 a.m. and found a student standing outside the C building. The student was crying and visibly shaking, but said she was not injured.
The student told the officer she arrived at class about 15 minutes early, and logged onto a computer station desk. There were five students and more than 20 computer stations in the classroom.
The police report gave the following account:
A second student arrived, and used obscenities while demanding the first student get out of “her” seat. When the first student refused, saying there were no assigned seats, the second student brought a chair and sat extremely close.
The second student then unplugged the monitor from the computer, told the first student she would drag her out of her chair and tossed away the first student’s property, including a laptop.
During the police investigation, the second student called the first student “a snot nosed kid” who took her seat, and said the dispute was a matter of principle.
The officer charged the second student with disorderly conduct and threats/intimidation, and served her with a “notice of immediate suspension” letter. The student may not return to campus until she meets administrative requirements.
The student signed her citation, promised to appear in court and asked the officer how the charges might affect her employment as a high school teacher.
-By Edwina Francisco
Student interrupts car break-in
Two men fled after a student saw them breaking into his vehicle at West Campus on March 15.
The student told campus police he saw the men trying to steal his subwoofer and amplifier out of his 1999 Toyota 4Runner at about 4:30 p.m.
When the men saw the student, they dropped the stereo equipment on the ground and fled in a white Ford Escape with an Arizona plate partially reading “AW.”
The victim told police an iPod valued at $300 and a wallet containing his ID were taken from the center console. The vehicle’s dash was pulled out, and the driver’s door lock and hatchback lock were punched in. Damages were estimated at $400.
-By Mylo Erickson
Men’s locker room damaged
A college employee contacted campus police March 21 to report criminal damage to the men’s basketball locker room at West Campus gymnasium.
Between October 2010 and March 2011, damages included a 2-foot-by-2-foot hole in the west wall, a broken light fixture and damaged trim. Estimated cost of the damage was $400. In addition, a TV/DVD/VHS player valued at $200 was stolen at the beginning of the season.
The employee said he had fixed miscellaneous minor damage in the past, and would put in a work order to repair the most recent damage. He told the investigating officer he does not want anyone to be in trouble, but felt it necessary to inform
-By April George
Scratched car spurs ‘angry’ note
A student reported damage to his parked vehicle at East Campus on March 22.
The student reported the passenger side of his vehicle had a small dent, chipped paint and green transfer paint on the passenger door. He said a green vehicle was parked very closely to his car’s passenger side, and provided the license plate.
Later that day, the owner of the green vehicle called police about an “angry” note left on her windshield. She said the note contained multiple curse words and accused her of damaging another car. The note did not contain any contact information.
The student said she did not open her door into another vehicle. The investigating officer did not see any transfer paint on her driver’s side door, though it was scratched and dinged in numerous places.
The officer said there were no eyewitnesses or evidence to support criminal charges, and advised both students to contact their insurance companies.
-By Chelo Grubb
Student reports cell phone theft
A student at East Campus reported the theft of her $100 Cosmos LG cell phone on March 22.
The student told campus police she used her cell phone at about 11:40 a.m., then entered the bookstore and waited for service at the sell-back counter. When she left the bookstore, she noticed her cellphone was no longer attached to her purse.
She suspected a “pushy, impatient” man who stood behind her at the counter. She called her phone number and someone answered, but the student heard only breathing noises before the phone disconnected.
When campus police later located the man, he denied taking the phone. The investigating officer said the man consented to a search, but his backpack did not contain the phone.
The officer was unable to locate any additional suspects or witness information.
-By Amber Bender
A Pima Community College student reported her purse stolen from the Northwest Campus library on Feb. 19.
The victim told campus police she was working at a computer in the library, and left her bag unattended for about two minutes. When she returned, it was gone.
The $60 bag contained a $300 pair of Rayban glasses and a $200 pink Samsung cellphone. It also contained credit and debit cards, an immigration card and keys to her apartment and car.
The investigating officer accompanied the victim to her apartment complex, and talked with an employee about having the victim’s locks changed. The victim also cancelled her credit and debit cards, and began making arrangements to secure a new immigration card.
-By Stephen Real
Another backpack stolen from outside bookstore
A backpack stolen from shelves outside the West Campus bookstore was the second incident reported in three days.
The bookstore requires customers to leave backpacks on open shelves outside the entrance. A student who did so Oct. 28 told campus police his backpack was stolen during the brief time he was inside the store.
The backpack contained a Canon digital camera valued at $300.
A bookstore employee went into a nearby men’s restroom and found the empty backpack.
In a similar scenario Oct. 25, a student reported the theft of a backpack containing her wallet and a laptop valued at $800. The empty backpack was also found in the men’s restroom.
-By Darcy Arizmendi
Lab instrument stolen at Northwest Campus
A lab instrument valued at $700 was reported stolen Nov. 1 from Northwest Campus.
A PCC employee told campus police she placed an Oakton temperature stabilizer bath on a counter in Lab D301 for use on Oct. 28. She noticed the instrument missing on Oct. 30.
-By Stephanie Missouri
Construction worker reports cell phone theft
A contractor working on a project in the West Campus library reported his cell phone stolen on Nov. 1.
The worker told campus police a man asked to use his cell phone at about 3:30 p.m. He handed the man his dark red Blackberry Curve 8530 and tried to keep an eye on him, but became distracted by his work. He later noticed the man had disappeared.
The worker valued the phone at $150. He described the suspect as a Hispanic male of medium build wearing a short-sleeved red shirt.
-By April George
Computer missing from West Campus
A West Campus employee reported her computer missing on Oct. 25.
The employee told campus police she found her computer and monitor missing when she arrived for work in the counseling and advising area at 7:45 a.m. The mouse and keyboard were still on her work station. She contacted police after first confirming that the Information Technology department did not have any record of the computer being taken for repairs. The employee last saw the computer on Oct. 23 at noon.
The computer equipment was valued at just over $1,000.
-By Miki Jennings
Backpack stolen from bookstore rack
A student’s backpack was stolen from the rack outside the West Campus bookstore on Oct. 25. The student told campus police she was required to leave her backpack on a shelf outside the bookstore before she entered the store at 11:45 a.m. When she returned a few minutes later, the backpack was gone.
The backpack contained a 2008 HP laptop valued at $800 and a wallet containing the student’s driver’s license, a debit card and a company gas card. The empty backpack was later found in a trash can in a nearby men’s room. It was soiled with urine.
-By Liza Porter
Graffiti covers Downtown Campus signs
A PCC police officer observed graffiti on Downtown Campus signs Oct. 19.
While on patrol, the officer noticed graffiti markings on five informational signs located on the west side of campus. A police dispatcher contacted the facilities department to have the graffiti removed.
Damages were estimated at $500.
-By David Mendez
Disorderly student referred to dean
A student accused of disorderly conduct at the West Campus science building on Oct. 6 was referred to the dean of students.
A college police officer was dispatched to speak with an upset instructor, who said a student in her class became agitated when she returned a graded portfolio.
Campus police gave the following account:
When the student asked why he received such a low grade, the instructor pointed out mistakes and uncompleted work. The student grabbed his portfolio, slammed it shut, and said, “This is bullshit.”
He punched chairs in the classroom as he walked back to his seat. He then gathered his belongings while mumbling something else, and left the classroom. When he got to the door, he punched it very hard. He also punched an exterior wall.
The instructor told police the student never threatened her or made any movement toward her. However, she said his behavior was inappropriate and she didn’t want him back in her class.
A student referral form was submitted to the advanced program manager for student affairs.
-By David Mendez
Student spitter confronted by driver
Who would think that spitting on a sidewalk could lead to a death threat?
A student told campus police he was sitting on an outside bench by the water fountain at Downtown Campus on Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m. The student spat on the sidewalk at the same time a car pulled up to the curb.
The driver exited his car and asked the student if he was spitting at him. The driver said the student would be killed if he was.
The student described the driver as a dark-skinned male in his late 20s or early 30s who spoke with an accent. He was wearing a blue shirt and sunglasses. The vehicle was a black Honda with the number 23 written on the side in orange.
The student told police he did not feel threatened but simply wanted to report the incident.
-By Ana Ramirez
Car vandalized at Desert Vista Campus
A student at Desert Vista Campus found her car vandalized on Oct. 6.
The student told campus police that she parked her Honda Civic on campus at 4 p.m. and returned to her car at approximately 8:50 p.m. Upon her return, she noticed the passenger-side window was broken.
She did not find anything missing or out of place inside the vehicle. Damage to the car window was estimated at $300.
The investigating officer saw broken glass on the car’s passenger-side seats and floor. There was also glass on the parking lot asphalt near the car. The officer called employees of the physical plant to clean up the broken glass.
-By Jonathan Fraser
Student reports truck break-in
A police officer patrolling West Campus on Oct. 12 was flagged down by a student who reported his Chevrolet Silverado had been burglarized.
The student said he parked his truck in Lot 2 at 10:45 a.m. When he returned just after 1 p.m., he found the passenger door lock punched in. Damage was estimated at $75.
Missing items valued at approximately $850 included a briefcase containing a Dell laptop computer, a TI-83 calculator and a TI-30 calculator.
-By Stephanie Missouri
West Campus vehicle burglarized
A Mitsubishi Galant parked in a West Campus lot was burglarized Oct. 12 between 10:40 a.m. and 1:20 p.m.
Campus police said the driver-side keyhole was punched in, and the car’s center console and stereo casing were damaged. Damages were estimated at $567.
The vehicle’s owner, a PCC student, reported that his stereo faceplate was missing and a 30GB iPod had been taken from the glove compartment. He valued the stolen property at about $400.
-By April George
Northwest Campus car break-in reported
A student reported items stolen from her Honda Civic during a break-in Oct. 12 at Northwest Campus.
The student told campus police she left her locked car in the south parking lot at 5:30 p.m. and returned at about 7:45 p.m.
While she was gone, a burglar pushed down the driver-side window to gain access to the car. Items reported missing include the car stereo and the dash console cover. An iPod classic and make-up bag were taken from the center console.
– By Darcy Arizmendi
Employee reports cash missing from purse
A college employee in the East Campus EMT department reported $421 missing from her purse Oct. 15.
Campus police said the support specialist last saw the money on Oct. 13. When she looked through her purse at about 1 p.m. on Oct. 15, she noticed the cash was missing.
The employee told officers that when she leaves her office, she usually places her purse under her desk and locks the office door.
-By Conrad Pursley