By: Leah Bayley-Hay
On Oct. 27, around mid-day, an on-campus altercation erupted between Stevenson security officers and a young, college-age man that resulted in the injury of two security guards.
Shortly after the alleged assault, Baltimore County Police were dispatched to the scene. Several Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) also responded.
The presence of outside first responders did not go unnoticed on the tight-knit campus. Police and EMT personnel were conspicuous in front of Western Run and Ratcliffe Community Center as they secured the scene and attended to the injured Stevenson officers.
Cassidy Butler, a junior, was driving directly behind the alleged assailant and saw the incident escalate from a minor traffic situation to a violent encounter. Butler watched as the two security officers approached the vehicle, which was then blocking the road in front of Western Run.
“The security officer was knocking on the [windshield of the car] for this kid to get out the car, but he wouldn’t get out of the car. [The alleged perpetrator] was refusing to move his car and being very rude,” said Butler.
Kennedy Cash, a freshman, also witnessed the incident. Before the altercation with the guards, she said she saw the alleged assailant arguing with a group of girls. “That’s why the security guard was there,” Cash said. “The guy [the alleged perpetrator] was in a fight with the group of girls outside the car. It all escalated when the security guard banged on the windshield.”
Butler said she saw the young man exit the car and attack the security guards. “He started punching them,” she said. “The other security guard came in and tried helping, and then [the alleged perpetrator] started punching both of them.”
In the midst of the melee, one of the security officers attempted to turn off the young man’s vehicle. At that point, the violence surged as that officer was then also attacked by the young man.
Butler said she saw the alleged assailant aggressively punch the security guards multiple times. “As [the guard] is bent over in the car, [the alleged perpetrator] rips him from the car and throws him onto the curb and starts punching him again…. It took…like three more security guards to come in and break it up.” Butler said.
The alleged attacker was eventually subdued and detained by the Baltimore County police, and the EMT attended to the injured security members. The Villager reached out to Stevenson Security for more information, but the inquiry was not responded to. The names of the assailant and the injured security guards were not released. No update was made concerning the guards’ injury status.
Although security failed to respond to inquiries, a statement was released by John A. Buettner, Vice President, Marketing and Digital Communications for Stevenson. “The university is cooperating with the Baltimore County Police’s investigation of the incident,” Buettner’s statement said. “Due to the university’s obligations under applicable privacy laws, we cannot release any other details at this time.”
Baltimore County Police also issued a statement stating that no further information on the assault could be released at this time.
Soon after the incident, SUAlert sent a text message to registered employees and students. “OM [Owings Mills] campus police activity. Baltimore Co Police presence at OM campus. There is no cause for concern.”
Despite the vague and benign message, the violent incident left some students, like Cassidy Butler, feeling uneasy.
“It is kind of frightening that there are people [who would incite violence on campus], and I’ve even had personal incidents – it definitely is nerve-wracking to know that there are people on campus that are willing to fight two older men that are security guards…and in broad daylight,” Butler said. “It’s not that I don’t feel safe, but (after viewing the violent incident) I do definitely feel a little off.”
Buettner’s statement addressed students like Butler who might have experienced trauma. “We also understand that students might have other concerns about this incident or other issues they might be confronting in their social and personal lives. Stevenson is here to assist you confidentially with services that can help. If you need help, confidential student counseling services are available through the SU wellness center at 443-352-4200 or via email@example.com.”
The statement also assured students that, “Stevenson is here to help through these and other services such as our Office of Student Success.”
Stevenson asked that any students with information concerning the incident contact Jeff Kelly, Dean of Students, at 443-352-4012, or the Office of Campus Security at 443-352-4500.