He had a fake gun, a ski mask and an accomplice as a lookout — draw your own conclusions.
A Yale police sergeant driving north on Prospect Street at about 12:30 a.m. Monday noticed a suspicious teenage bicyclist in the driveway in front of Sterling Chemistry Laboratory.
Thinking that the individual appeared to be “some kind of lookout,” the sergeant turned his cruiser around and saw a second cyclist coming down the driveway from the vicinity of Kline Biology Tower.
Because the second teenager had clearly been on Yale property, the sergeant pursued the youths and stopped them near the School of Management.
The second boy was carrying a black ski mask and a BB gun that closely resembled a real semiautomatic handgun, police said.
Police arrested Justin Davis, 17, of Eld Street, and charged him with carrying a facsimile weapon. The first youth was not arrested.
“We may have saved someone from being the victim of a robbery,” Yale Police Chief James Perrotti said. “It was very good work on the part of the sergeant.”
Perrotti noted there have been previous robberies by perpetrators on bicycles near campus, as well as recent incidents in the area of Science Hill and the Divinity School.
The Yale Police Department received a bulletin from New Haven police recently regarding the use of fake guns in robberies. The type of BB gun shown in the memo was identical to a photograph of the one found on Davis.
A burning box of Lucky Charms was anything but magically delicious for one suite of Jonathan Edwards freshmen.
Yale police responded to a complaint of students throwing burning items out of a Farnam Hall window at about 10:10 p.m. last Thursday.
Upon arriving, one officer saw a “cereal box smoldering in the mulch” outside of the building, according to police reports.
Further investigation revealed that a chair and burning rolls of toilet paper had also been thrown out of the same window over the past several weeks, police said.
Farnam resident Lucas Kunce ’04 said the incident with the cereal box stemmed from a dispute between his suite and another below.
“Since it was snowy, we lit a Lucky Charms box on fire, and just dropped it out our window on the snow so it would make their rooms smell like smoke,” Kunce said. “It worked, but then the police came and unfortunately when they got here we’d already left.”
The four freshmen returned home, Kunce said, only to be arrested and charged with reckless burning, a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The charges were later reduced.
Kunce said he was unsure how the fiery toilet paper had been ejected from the building, but said the chair was thrown out the window in a separate incident.
“We were like, ‘Well, we’ve got a broken wooden chair,’ and we wanted to see what it looked like, so we threw it out the window,” Kunce said, adding that the incident took place early in the morning and that no one was near the building at the time.
But police clearly thought the incidents, especially those involving fire, were no laughing matter.
“Anytime you have students playing around with lighting anything on fire in a place where people are housed in close proximity, you create a situation that could be tragic,” Perrotti said.
The four freshmen have a court date set for March 1, Kunce said.
Attention to detail
A new University Police patrol detail has been created to focus on crimes against persons and thefts from cars.
The detail consists of two uniformed officers patrolling from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night in an unmarked police cruiser. The officers work in conjunction with regular patrols and will alter their routes according to crime trends observed by police analysts.
Perrotti said the creation of the detail was in response to recent robberies and auto thefts near campus.
“If people come down to New Haven and their car gets broken into, they perceive that the place is riddled with crime,” he said. “That perception is not right.”