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Self-help book is smoking gun in fire investigation

By Brielle Bryan
Production Manager


Pyromaniac caught

At 8:55 a.m. on April 14, a Campus Police officer was conducting a stationary post on the north staircase of Wolfe Hall between the first and second floors. The officer heard a staircase door open above him, along with the sound of a lighter attempting to ignite. The officer immediately ran up the staircase and observed the sixth-floor doorway closing. There was a strong odor of burnt paper, according to police reports.

The officer entered the sixth floor and saw a male student with short black hair wearing a green T-shirt, blue jeans, black and white sneakers and a gray and red backpack, Campus Police said. At this time, the officer observed a blue lighter in the male student’s right hand. The male began running away from the officer, according to police reports. The officer ran after the male, shouting for him to stop. The officer apprehended him and he was handcuffed. Three other officers arrived on the scene.

Campus Police searched the male. During the search, the officer observed a bulge in the male student’s waistband, and found a charred, rolled up piece of paper inside. The officer asked the student if he was burnt and the student replied, “No.” The scorched paper was a photocopy of “The Mindful Way Through Anxiety: Break Free from Chronic Worry and Reclaim Your Life,” which were the same pages of a book that was found charred on a few other occasions when a fire was started, according to Campus Police.

There was little damage done to the tile floor in the stairwell of Wolfe Hall, with the floor being slightly discolored from the dripping wax, police said.

At 9:07 a.m., the male student was transported to Police Headquarters by one of the officers. He was processed, read his Uniform Mercer County Rights Form and waived his rights. The male student was then interviewed by two officers and admitted to setting fires on four separate occasions, all on the stairwell of Wolfe Hall on different landings, police said.

The male student was issued a summons for criminal mischief and for risking widespread injury. The male student was also suspended from the College, according to police reports.

At 1:40 p.m., the male student was released and escorted back to his residence so he could remove his belongings.


Heineken dazes student

At approximately midnight on April 15, two Campus Police officers were dispatched to one of the women’s bathrooms in Wolfe Hall in reference to an intoxicated female student. Upon arrival, the officers observed a female vomiting in the sink. When she spoke, an odor of alcohol emanated from her breath. The female student wasn’t coherent and would not answer any of the officers’ questions, according to Campus Police.

One of the officers spoke to the community adviser, who said two of the residents had observed the intoxicated female student in the woman’s bathroom vomiting and offered her help. The intoxicated female student’s roommate identified her to Campus Police.

TCNJ EMS and Pro-staff arrived at the scene. TCNJ EMS advised Campus Police that the intoxicated female had one Heineken, and her roommate confirmed. After further questioning, the roommate admitted she drank, too, police said. The roommate said she drank a Korean alcoholic beverage called Soju, as well as two Heinekens while she was with her sick friend.

Ewing Township EMS arrived on scene and transported both females to the hospital, according to police reports. Both females were issued a summons for underage drinking.


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