Crime: A year in review
With Eugene crime up in every reported category since 2008 according to FBI statistics released June 1, University students have been victims and suspects in a number of incidents that made headlines this year.
The ‘Taser trial’
In the year since former University student Ian Van Ornum’s arrest at an anti-pesticide rally downtown, the 19-year-old has gone to trial, been convicted of two misdemeanor charges, sentenced to 80 hours of community service, attempted to raise money for his court fees, filed an appeal and is pursuing a civil case against the police who tasered him twice during his arrest.
Van Ornum’s friend, University student Anthony Farley, who struck an officer during Van Ornum’s arrest, pled guilty to the charge of attempt to assault a police officer.
Van Ornum, former co-director of the UO Survival Center, told the Emerald last month that he has since stopped his community activism. He plans to return to the University in the fall.
Van Ornum’s high-profile trial led to an internal affairs investigation into the police’s use of force in the arrests at the rally.
After the city’s first-ever independent investigator left the investigation because she was not allowed to directly question the police officers involved, the police auditor’s office returned to normal protocol and has continued the investigation with no outside review.
After a 15-month trial period, the Eugene Police Department announced last month its plan to expand the department’s Taser program.
Forty officers carried Tasers during the trial period, and Captain Steve Swenson said the department will expand its program as soon as it can afford to outfit more officers with the electric-shock deploying devices.
The community remains divided on the benefits and dangers of Taser use.
Kappa Delta break-in
Police responded to a call at the Kappa Delta house near campus Sunday, May 24, when a man reportedly entered the sorority house, walked onto the sleeping porch, removed his pants and got into bed with one of the women.
Kappa Delta president Emily Escobosa e-mailed University sorority women, alerting them of the crime, but Escobosa said she couldn’t comment on the incident to media because of national Kappa Delta policy.
An EPD spokesperson confirmed police responded to the call, determined that no crime had been committed and did not file a report.
The first of three carjacking-robbery incidents, which began May 27 and ended May 31, occurred at East 14th Avenue and Kincaid Street when two men coerced a 19-year-old University student to give them a ride.
In two similar cases, the suspects threatened women with use of a weapon, forced the victims to drive to ATMs and attempted to withdraw cash from the victims’ accounts.
Police arrested two men whom they believe to be the suspects involved Tuesday night, the most recent incident. The suspects were lodged at Lane County Jail and arraigned on three counts of kidnapping in the first degree and three counts of robbery in the second degree each.
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