Trumbull College students who stayed in to study Saturday night were taken by surprise when the party came to them.
Three Trumbull College residents report that about eight strangers entered their college early Sunday morning, and proceeded to ridicule students and set off a fire extinguisher, causing the college to evacuate. An unrelated, older man found in the courtyard was arrested for trespassingby police who responded to the fire alarm. But when the dust settled, an administrator said the commotion did not require the University to send an e-mail to students notifying them of the night’s events.
At around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday morning, six to eight college-age men entered Trumbull College and walked to the second floor, where they mocked students studying in the library, Mary Weng ’13 said. They then set off a fire extinguisher. The chemical retardant in the extinguisher blast set off the fire alarm, said Jeremy Leonard ’11, a Trumbull College Council member who spoke to police officers on the scene. Leonard said he helped students evacuate into the courtyard for about 25 minutes before they were allowed back in. After the students returned, Weng said an older man who was “definitely not one of the guys in the [other] group” was arrested for trespassing in the courtyard.
Despite the arrest within the college’s walls and the disruptive conduct of the unknown trespassers, Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Lindner said these incidents were not deemed to be a serious or ongoing threat to the Yale community, and so no e-mail notification was sent to the Yale community.
Several students were studying in the Trumbull computer cluster and the Trumbull library at around 2:10 a.m. when the men began banging on the library door, Weng said. She added that she heard a commotion and a crashing in the hallway, which she was able to identify as the sound of a dining hall plate being thrown down the stairs when she saw the remnants later that night.
Weng said one of the men mocked the the students studying in the seminar room for working on a Saturday night.
After they were unable to access the computer cluster, Weng said, the men left and were not seen again for the rest of the night. The fire alarm went off a few minutes later and several students reported seeing smoke coming from the first floor of Trumbull.
Leonard said firemen and police officers arrived on the scene, and identified the “smoke” as the chemical contents of a fire extinguisher. According to Lindner, these chemicals caused the alarms to go off.
None of the college-age men were arrested, Leonard and Weng said, because they were not at the scene when police arrived. But an older man with no Yale affiliation was discovered walking through the college, and after being told to leave, was arrested by the Yale Police Department.
Lindner described the actions of the young men as “criminal mischief,” but this is not the first time a trespasser has found their way into a Yale residential college.
Lily Wang ’13 said she has seen multiple groups of college-age revelers pass through Davenport College on Saturday evening. In the past month, Wang said two separate groups of trespassers have taunted her for going to Yale. She added that she once witnessed two inebriated young men urinating in the shrubbery next to the Davenport dining hall last month because they “couldn’t find a bathroom, and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the gate.”
Neither Trumbull College Dean Jasmina Besirevic-Regan nor Master Janet Henrich were in town during the Sunday morning incident, Leonard said. Besirevic-Regan could not be reached for comment.