Two men trespass; arrested in Koonce

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Two men were arrested by Kent State police for criminal trespassing yesterday afternoon in Koonce Hall.

Michael E. Gates Jr., 26, and Fernando A. Varner, 24, both of Akron, are not Kent State students.

The arrests come after reports of theft in Tri-Towers.

Two thefts have been reported in Tri-Towers since the beginning of the school year: Two iPods and $25 from Wright Hall and a wallet from Koonce Hall. During the same time period, eight incidents of breaking and entering were reported at Tri-Towers – six in Wright and two in Koonce.

Lt. Christopher Jenkins, of the Kent State police, was shift supervisor during the arrests. He said police had descriptions of suspicious individuals possibly involved in the incidents.

“The people that we have under arrest do match that description,” he said.

Jenkins noted, however, that the description was “loose” and based on height, build and clothing.

“Although they match the description, at this time we are unsure if (the incidents) are related,” he said.

Both men’s pre-trial hearings are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Feb. 6 at Kent Municipal Court.

Summit County court records show Varner has a prior conviction for burglary.

Jenkins stressed that in these cases, there were no threats of physical harm.

He recommended that students always lock their doors in the residence halls and not let unfamiliar people inside the building.

“The majority of thefts in the residence halls are directly related to students leaving doors unsecured and unlocked,” he said.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].