News and Analysis



Tuesday, April 1, 2014 1:47 p.m.

Senior found dead in West Hall

Multiple police cars were parked outside West Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Multiple police cars remained parked outside West Hall until about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Updated: Wednesday, April 2 at 10:04 a.m.

A senior was found dead in West Hall early Tuesday morning, University officials have confirmed.

Campus police found the female student around 7:30 a.m. in her fourth-floor room, which is in the largest residence hall on the Mount Vernon Campus.

Police have not found evidence of criminal behavior and are not investigating the death as a homicide. The student’s mother had called the University Police Department after not hearing from her daughter, MPD spokesman Araz Alali said. Officers then found her unresponsive in her room.

In a message to the community, University President Steven Knapp said the student was a chemistry major in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. She had been enrolled at GW since 2010. Her family has asked GW not to release her name at this time.

“In the aftermath of this tragic loss, I urge all of us to take care of ourselves and look out for one another,” Knapp wrote in the message, which was sent by email Tuesday around 7:50 p.m.

Police also responded to a medical emergency on the second floor of West Hall, in which a male student was rushed to a nearby hospital around 1 p.m.

That student was found “lying on floor in an unconscious state” and rushed to a local hospital, Alali said. He said the injury was “substantial,” but could not provide additional details. University spokeswoman Candace Smith said she could not comment on that student’s condition.

Multiple officers, including investigators, remained in West Hall until about 4:30 p.m. An ambulance, medic and firetruck left the campus around 1:45 p.m.

Multiple police officials on the scene declined to comment.

Students can speak with University counselors in West Hall on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Members of the community may also contact the University Counseling Center at 202-994-5300.

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Updated: Feb. 5, 2014 at 11:19 p.m.

The bullets found in the Media and Public Affairs building Wednesday morning turned out to be part of a journalism class demonstration on crime reporting.

The University Police Department evacuated a Media and Public Affairs classroom after a housekeeper found three bullets there Wednesday morning, a GW spokeswoman said.

Police found no weapons in their search of the basement-level room, which was evacuated around 8 a.m.

“Further investigation revealed a professor had brought the bullets to class as a training tool for a journalism class. MPD was notified,” according to a University release.

Sophomore Sabrina Rush said her news writing professor had brought in the bullets “simply for display purposes” for their class Tuesday afternoon.

“We are learning how to write crime stories, and the demonstration was useful and necessary,” she told The Hatchet on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 6:06 p.m.

AEPi to be hit with sanctions for hazing

Alpha Epsilon Pi will face punishments after an investigation by its national organization and the University found evidence that members hazed pledges, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Jon Pierce, a spokesman and former national president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said the organization worked with the University to investigate a complaint levied against the GW chapter earlier this semester. He said the investigation found the complaint to be credible enough to prompt penalties, though it did not yield a “conclusive conclusion” about the allegations.

“We have decided to sanction the chapter because we want to make sure that our seriousness and our intents to not have any hazing in our chapters is understood,” Pierce said. “[The organization is] in the process of working with the University to put together a plan of action and a plan of correction.”

Pierce declined to say whether the allegations involved alcohol, but added that “the two often go hand in hand.” He also declined to say what sanctions the chapter could face, but said the chapter’s charter likely would not be revoked.

The hazing charges mark the third time a Greek chapter has been investigated for hazing this semester. GW is also investigating alleged hazing violations in Sigma Delta Tau and Beta Theta Pi.

The Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter was instructed to halt activities during the investigation, Pierce said, though the chapter was permitted to initiate a pledge class.

Nathan Kropp, the chapter’s president, did not return a request for comment. Several GW administrators also did not return requests for comment.

The fraternity recolonized on campus in 2002, two years after the University suspended the chapter in 2000 after the chapter plead guilty to hazing charges. Members had allegedly beat up a pledge on the National Mall.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:40 p.m.

Officer injured during assault arrest

A University Police officer arrested a female student who struck a male student in the face and kicked him in the leg early Saturday morning at Ivory Tower.

UPD Chief Kevin Hay said the officer, who was stationed at the entrance of the residence hall, arrested the woman for simple assault and domestic violence at about 4:30 a.m. The officer sustained some injuries to his knees from the woman, who resisted the arrest, Hay said.

He added that an investigation found that the male student did not hit the female student arrested.

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Alumnus and Mayor Vincent Gray has been under severe scrutiny by federal authorities since March, following allegations by a former mayoral candidate that Gray asked him to verbally attack former Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail. File photo

The federal government is comprehensively investigating alumnus and Mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign and is eying “irregularities,” The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Investigators talked to several of Gray’s campaign staffers and subpoenaed documents as part of the criminal probe, according to The Post’s report that cited interviews with “nearly a dozen people close to the probe.”

“Gray took office with great expectations and the general goodwill of the city. But a Washington Post poll in June found that trust in him has eroded since Brown’s allegations became public and the U.S. attorney’s office began its investigation,” The Post reported. “Gray has stumbled in hiring staff — missteps at times magnified by ongoing investigations, including one by a congressional oversight committee.”

Gray, who has been slammed with ethical questions just 10 months into office, has faced fire since ex-District employee and former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown alleged Gray paid him and guaranteed him a city job if he bashed former Mayor Adrian Fenty while campaigning.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform launched a probe into Brown’s claims in March. Investigators are also looking at potential misconduct related to money-order donations to the Gray campaign that violated District rules, according to The Post.

Authorities are centering their investigation on Howard Brooks, a senior Gray campaign official, and potentially others from the campaign, according to The Post.

A report by the D.C. Council released in August criticized Gray’s administration with hundreds of pages chronicling “clear evidence” of corrupt hiring practices. The report also focused on Brooks, finding “strong evidence” he gave Brown $1,160 during the campaign, and that other individuals promised him employment.

Anonymous sources told The Post investigators have obtained fingerprints from both Brooks and Brown, and those prints might be used to learn who “handled documents, money orders or envelopes with cash that Brown claims the Gray campaign gave him or who might have handled apparently fraudulent money-order donations to the mayor’s campaign,” according to The Post.

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Metropolitan Police are continuing to investigate Patrick David Casey’s death as a homicide, following evidence that Casey was “irritating” other patrons – but not instigating a fight – at the McDonald’s restaurant just off campus where he sustained a severe head injury Sept. 23.

“There are indications that he had been drinking that night,” MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. She said the department is waiting for autopsy information, including his blood alcohol content, from the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Casey, a 33-year-old Afghanistan war veteran, incurred head trauma after falling onto the concrete when a verbal argument intensified into a physical confrontation outside the 1916 M St., NW eatery early that day. MPD ruled the death a homicide resulting from “blunt force trauma” Friday after initially looking into the case as a felony assault.

“We have indications Mr. Casey did push or throw a subject to the ground immediately preceding his being pushed or punched, which resulted in his falling to the ground and striking his head,” Crump said. “There are currently no charges being filed as the investigation continues. The determination as to whether or not anyone is charged will be made after the investigation has been completed.”

The native of Clifton Park, N.Y. was pronounced brain dead Tuesday and legally declared dead Thursday. His mother, Gail Casey, said last week that GW Hospital tried for four days to keep him alive.

Investigators have identified suspects and are conducting interviews, MPD officer Araz Alali said Friday, but will not release security camera footage that caught the altercation to the public.

The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Thursday. Beverly Fields, chief of staff at the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, did not return a request for comment on autopsy results.

Casey, who friends and family said had a contagious smile, moved to the District in early August to earn a master’s from the Elliott School of International Affairs. He was a “big teddy bear” in a 6-foot-4-inch frame, they said.

“I mean, people use the term gentle giant, and that was Pat,” Jeremy Nevil, 32, said of his best friend.

The University will hold a memorial service for Casey at Veterans Park, located at 22nd and G streets, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

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