A man was arrested outside Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall after disrupting a lecture Tuesday morning.
Two Yale police officers escorted a man out of SSS 114, the building’s main lecture hall, after he entered and climbed onstage while history professor David Blight was delivering a lecture for “The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845–1877.” Blight continued his lecture, speaking over the man in an attempt to control the disturbance. When the man still refused to exit, Blight and a teaching fellow led him off the stage and to the back doors of the hall, where he was met by Yale Police Department officers.
Outside of SSS, the YPD officers, who wrote a citation for the man, were joined by two New Haven police officers. The man departed SSS in a Yale police vehicle.
A YPD officer, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss the matter, said the YPD received reports of the same man disrupting two Bulldog Days events in SSS. The first was a Yale Political Union debate with Howard Dean ’71, the former Vermont Governor and 2004 presidential candidate, that took place on Monday evening. The second, which immediately preceded Blight’s lecture, was a science forum hosted by current students and faculty in STEM fields.
The YPD was called to the scene after each of the three occurrences, but an arrest was not made until after the third incident.
“It was unfortunate, but we only lost a few minutes,” Blight said after the class. “It seemed that he was describing the travails of his family.”
Although several students in the class said they could not hear clearly what the man was saying because he did not have a microphone, Blight, who stood with the individual on stage for a few minutes, said he believes that the man was telling personal stories in an effort to solicit money.
Aia Sarycheva ’16, president of the YPU, was present at Monday evening’s disturbance. She said an individual, whom YPD officers confirmed was the same man that disrupted Blight’s lecture, stepped up to the podium and began to speak. The man was escorted out of the lecture hall by a member of the audience.
Kate Halabi, a prospective student from Connecticut who has not yet matriculated to Yale, attended Tuesday morning’s science forum. She said the disruption at the forum was similar to what occurred during Blight’s lecture and during the YPU event.
Prior to Blight’s lecture Tuesday morning, the man was spotted in the Timothy Dwight College dining hall at around 8:30 a.m. The YPD was not called to the scene during this sighting.