The state medical examiner’s office has ruled that the death of Anthony Bekinnie, the 19-year-old who fell from the top of Durfee Hall early Sunday morning, was an accident, Yale Police said in a press release.
Bekinnie’s name was not released until Monday as police attempted to notify his family. He lived in Walsenburg, Colorado and had come to campus this weekend to visit a female Yale student.
Bekinnie fell from a suite on the top floor of Durfee Hall — a suite occupied by annexed Calhoun juniors — during a party at 3 a.m Sunday. Paramedics found him unresponsive at the scene and rushed him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He died of multiple blunt force trauma, the press release said.
Police do not know how Bekinnie fell from the window, Yale Police Lt. Michael Patten said.
“The police have no witnesses, so apparently there was no one who saw the young man fall,” University spokesman Tom Conroy said.
Blood tests to find if Bekinnie had any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death will be completed in a month, according to the press release. Nicole Willis ’05, who was with Bekinnie the night he died, said he did not drink any alcohol.
Saturday night, Bekinnie attended a banquet organized by the Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity where alcohol was served. But Derek Morales ’05, one of the event’s organizers said that everyone was required to show identification to drink. After the party, Bekinnie and a group of about 20 students went to Willis’ suite in Durfee for dancing. Willis said there was no alcohol served in the room.
Willis said she did not think Bekinnie was depressed or upset Saturday night.
“As far as I knew, he seemed fine,” Willis said.
Willis said Bekinnie spent several minutes in the common room during the party, and then went into a bedroom to talk on the phone. A few minutes later, she said, the people at the party heard ambulances and found the window to the bedroom open and Bekinnie gone.
The student Bekinnie was visiting did not live in the Durfee suite, Willis said. However, both Bekinnie and his friend were staying together during the visit in the room from which Bekinnie fell. Three of the Calhoun suitemates who normally live in the suite were out of town for the weekend, allowing Bekinnie and his friend to stay in the unoccupied room, Willis said.
Yale Police Chief James Perrotti said Bekinnie’s friend was not present in the suite at the time of the accident.
Sunday night, Calhoun Master William Sledge met with the students living in the suite.
“[The meeting] was about getting clear about their needs and how one can support them,” Sledge said.
Sledge and Calhoun Dean Stephen Lassonde met with the Calhoun master’s aides about Bekinnie’s death, a master’s aide said. Sledge said he has gotten advice from several students on how to help the rest of the college cope with the death.
Conroy said counseling services are available for any student who needs help dealing with the death.
“It’s always very disturbing when a young person dies,” Conroy said. “The University sees its role as providing assistance to any student who needs it.”
Sledge said the lack of information about how Bekinnie fell out the window has made dealing with students’ emotions more difficult.
“I think people are dismayed that something like this could happen,” Sledge said. “I certainly don’t know what happened.”
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