Police charged a New Haven man with several felony counts of assault and burglary Wednesday following Tuesday’s assault in McClellan Hall. Steven Banks, 39, is still under observation at Yale-New Haven hospital. His victim — who was allegedly struck in the head with a tequila bottle — was treated for excessive bleeding and then released.
Banks was arrested Wednesday night and remains hospitalized after he fell four floors while trying to evade police, Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said. Banks faces charges of three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, three counts of second-degree larceny, and one count of threatening.
Conroy said Banks is not a Yale University employee.
In an e-mail to all Yale students, Associate Dean of Yale College Betty Trachtenberg provided details about Tuesday night’s incident and reminded students not to leave doors propped open or let suspicious-looking people into student dorms. The e-mail also referred students to emergency numbers and to the Department of Security Programs Web site.
Conroy said students should take advantage of the services provided by the University and that when students comply with Yale’s security measures, the entire college community benefits.
“All members of the Yale community can augment security by being familiar with the tips and guidelines,” Conroy said.
Banks allegedly entered a McClellan suite and assaulted several residents. He then exited a common room window, walked onto a rooftop gutter, and attempted to evade capture. While trying to jump to the nearby scaffolding around Vanderbilt Hall, he fell four stories and was immediately apprehended by waiting police.
Danny Guando ’04, the student Banks allegedly struck with a tequila bottle, reflected on what happened Tuesday night.
“He pulled me and asked me for my wallet. I couldn’t find it and then he hit me with a bottle,” Guando said.
Guando added that he has recovered substantially from the blow to his head.
Stephen Dougherty ’04, who was in the suite while the incident occured, said he thought the suspect was delusional when he entered the common room.
“He said, ‘Don’t move, I have a gun. Don’t call the cops — my friend upstairs has a gun,” Dougherty said. “He told the cops he jumped because his partner was holding him at gunpoint.” Neither police nor Yale officials said a second man was involved.
Other McClellan residents said Tuesday’s events changed their views of campus security.
“I felt safe living here with my door unlocked. It won’t be [safe] anymore,” said Alison Pruet ’04.
The majority of students directly involved with the alleged assault and robberies are annexed Branford College students.
Branford Master Steven Smith spoke with the students involved and said he was pleased and impressed that the students stood up for each other and helped each other out.
Despite the crime, some students were quick to resume their normal course of work.
“No one really talks about it because everybody has midterms,” said Brian Smith ’06.
Other students expressed sheer disbelief about last night’s crime.
“This is insanely ridiculous. I just mopped blood off the floor, and they won’t even let me in my room,” said a student at the crime scene.
Conroy said New Haven detectives are assisting Yale police with the ongoing investigation.