University Police Department cautions students about spiked drinks

Police Chief Dave McCoy sent the following statement on Sept. 25 for The Collegian to share to its readers: 

URPD received information related to two separate incidents which leads us to believe that the student’s drinks were altered or spiked without their knowledge. One incident was reported to have occurred this past weekend in the area of old frat row, and the second was reported to have occurred around the commons but we do not know when this may have occurred.

Symptoms include a rapid onset of intoxication out of proportion to what a person may have had to drink, reduced inhibitions and memory loss. These cases are being investigated by URPD.

It is important to provide you this information to share with our community in an effort to inform and aid in the prevention of similar incidents.

Prevention efforts include:

Don’t share drinks with others.

If you did not pour it or if you did not see it poured in an open container that is provided specifically to you, dump it and take control of your own drinking, especially if a drink is from an individual that you do not know very well.

If a friend starts to exhibit symptoms of having ingested an altered or spiked drink seek medical assistance. Signs to look for include dizziness and/or nausea, memory loss, difficult breathing and acting disproportionately intoxicated relative to the amount of alcohol you observed your friend consume.

This type of activity is a criminal offense and URPD will assist any victim of this type of crime and can provide guidance with medical testing timelines and support with University resources.

More information can be reviewed at https://www.alcohol.org/guides/spiked/ sponsored by Alcohol.org.

Driving Under the Influence

A Richmond college student was charged with driving on Westhampton Way while intoxicated on Aug. 26. The student showed signs that he was too impaired to drive, which alerted the nearby officer to his possible inebriation while at the helm of a vehicle and gave the officer probable cause to stop him. 

Assistant Chief of Police Beth Simonds said that because of the potential danger of driving under the influence, the student had been arrested and likely had spent the night in jail. 

In a typical DUI case, the perpetrator would be arraigned in the morning and released on bond with a court date set for a later date. URPD has not been served a subpoena yet to appear in court for the trial. 

Simonds said that this was one of few DUIs in recent years.

Theft from Robins Stadium

On Aug. 29, the signed football from the 2008 University of Richmond NCAA championship was stolen from E. Claiborne Robins Stadium. Simonds said the football had been stolen from a glass case on the third-floor Robins Family Suite. 

URPD are still conducting an investigation into this theft and are currently unable to reveal all the details of the case. The Collegian will follow up on this story as details become available. 

Liquor Law Violations

On Aug. 30, there were 15 charges of a liquor law violation in multiple residence halls throughout campus, including South Court, Gray Court, Dennis Hall, Marsh Hall and Freeman Hall. 

Most of these incidents were cases in which a Resident Assistant discovered students in possession of or impaired by alcohol and referred the student offenders to the dean’s office, of which RAs are members. 

Nevertheless, police did respond to a complaint in Freeman where they discovered underage students under the influence and referred them to the dean’s office for possession of alcohol by consumption. In the state of Virginia, possession of alcohol by consumption states that for citizens under the legal drinking age, a lower body alcohol content is needed to prove possession than is typical for older citizens. 

On Sept. 14, students were charged with another 10 counts of a liquor law violation in Robins Hall. Simonds reported that an RA had discovered the unlawful act and had referred the students for conduct to the dean’s office. 

On Sept. 14, a Richmond College student was arrested on four different charges in lot C66, located near Old Fraternity Row. The charges included being drunk in public — a class 4 misdemeanor in the state of Virginia — possession of a fake ID, which is a class 1 misdemeanor federally, destruction of property and liquor law violation. In a case such as this, whether to arrest is at the discretion of the arresting officer, Simonds said. 

The student was arrested, and a court date has been set by the city of Richmond. 

Drug/Narcotic and Paraphernalia Raid 

On Sept. 11, students in Gray, South and Westhampton Hall were charged with 18 counts of drug/narcotic or drug paraphernalia/equipment violations. 

Simonds said these had been the result of searches the dean’s staff often conducts in the beginning of the year to make sure that students are not in possession of illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia. The dean’s staff conducts the raids, contacts URPD for the confiscation and storage of the illicit material and refers the student in possession to the dean’s office. 

Not all police reports are published, and available information can be found at URPD’s crime log. All information used in this report came from either the URPD police log or Assistant Chief of Police Beth Simonds.

Contact news writer Eli Kline at eli.kline@richmond.edu.

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