YPD confirms SAE arrests

The Yale Police Department confirmed the arrest of another student pledging the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon yesterday, the fourth in a series of arrests made Saturday night of pledges who police said were participating in a scavenger hunt.

YPD Lt. Michael Patten said the University Police arrested Stephen Sherrill ’09 on High Street around 1 a.m. Saturday on charges of criminal mischief in the third degree, larceny in the sixth degree and interfering with a police officer.

“The police officers found him [Sherrill] walking down High Street holding two black toilet paper dispensers, which he had taken from [Lanman-Wright Hall],” he said. “He never told us that he was on a scavenger hunt, but he was with other pledges who told us about the scavenger hunt.”

New Haven Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester said the NHPD police report named David Atlas ’08, Steven Kuchta ’09 and Devin Ringger ’09 as having been arrested earlier that night on similar charges. She said the students also claimed to be participating in an SAE scavenger hunt. The students are alleged to have broken a glass display case in front of Samurai, a Japanese restaurant, in order to steal a menu from the front of the window.

“They said they were told to get a menu from the restaurant,” she said. “I don’t know if they were told to break the window or if that’s something they chose to do themselves.”

SAE President Bill Deitch ’07 and the charged students said they could not comment about the incident.

Richard Hooker Jr., president of the SAE alumni group that owns the fraternity’s house, said that as of yesterday evening he had not yet been informed of the arrests. Although Hooker said the national SAE headquarters, located in Evanston, Ill., usually informs him of incidents in which the police are involved, the SAE chapter president usually contacts him as well.

While Hooker said his primary responsibility is to look after the fraternity’s real estate, he said that because of his proximity to the Yale campus, he shares responsibilities with the fraternity’s alumni adviser.

“Right now, I don’t know if these accusations are true or not,” he said. “For all I know, they could be false [accusations]. But if it is true, as the president of the House Corporation and an officer in the national organization, I’d want to see some things change.”

Although he said he is not familiar with the specific incident, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said yesterday that if the University were to investigate the allegations, the investigation would be conducted through the Association of Yale Alumni.

Atlas, Kuchta and Sherrill will be arraigned today in New Haven Superior Court, and Ringger’s arraignment will be held Nov. 19.

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