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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Campus Crime Stoppers

    Thousands of dollars in University computer equipment has been stolen from Melville Library in recent months. Security camera pictures verified that on several occasions, individuals gained access to secured rooms in the Library and walked out with computer consoles, monitors, and other accessories.

    On Monday, March 24 at 1:30 a.m., University Police said that they believe they found some of the people responsible for these crimes.

    Brandon Fuchs and William La, residents of Stimson College, were approached Monday morning in the Melville Library basement by uniformed police officers. Ask to provide ID, one of the students gave false identification. The men were held for additional questioning.

    Police searched the library, and quickly discovered that the third-floor hallway ceiling tiles and the tile in room 319 had been removed. The manner in which the perpetrators had gained access to the rooms was consistent with the string of burglaries over the past month that has cost the university thousands of dollars in damages.

    After conducting a search of the students, police discovered a university computer mouse in one of their pockets. Fuchs and La were arrested, charged with burglary for the mouse incident. Police are hopeful that they will be held responsible for other burglaries.

    ‘igrave;The investigation is still pending, but I’iacute;m confident we got our guys,’icirc; said Douglas Little, Deputy Chief of Police. ‘igrave;These crimes are particularly shocking because residents of the community are committing crimes against other residents.’icirc;

    John Q or Criminal Mischief?

    On Wednesday, March 26, at 1:45 p.m. Dennis Cartwright, 54, allegedly pulled out a handgun in the burn unit on the fourth floor of Stony Brook University Hospital. At the bedside of his aunt, patient Margaret Dioca, 87, Cartwright proclaimed, ‘igrave;No one is leaving!’icirc;

    He proceeded to hold five patients and four staff members of the burn unit hostage. The ordeal ended approximately 45 minutes later without any injuries. Cartwright was arrested and as of press time is being charged with two counts of second degree kidnapping and one count of second degree criminal possession of a handgun.

    Cartwright was apparently distraught over the care his aunt Dioca received at Central Suffolk Hospital in Riverhead. There, doctors attempted to remove a wart from Dioca’iacute;s face, apparently causing second and third degree burns in the process. Newsday reported that through the wart removal process, a scalpel may have ignited due to excess oxygen. Dioca is currently in critical condition at the hospital.

    The case is being compared to the movie John Q, in which Denzel Washington’iacute;s character takes hostage an entire hospital to get the care his son a heart transplant.

    This case came to a much faster conclusion than the motion picture, however. Almost immediately after Cartwright took the fourth floor hostage, University Police worked with Suffolk County Police to secure the burn unit area. ‘igrave;Hospital operations continued as normal throughout the conflict,’icirc; Little said. Communicating with a desk clerk at the University Police station, in cooperation with the Suffolk County Hostage Negotiation squad, Cartwright demanded to speak to the media, and subsequently released a number of hostages.

    One of the hostages was Cartwright’iacute;s own girlfriend, who offered police valuable information that helped end the conflict swiftly and without violence. Police learned that Cartwright had not slept for days, and was suffering from fatigue and severe stress.

    Once he was allowed to speak to the media, Cartwright released his final hostage, nurse Diane Carlson, and gave himself up 45 minutes into the conflict.

    Upon exiting the burn unit, Carlson reportedly told Little, ‘igrave;I’iacute;m just concerned about the patients.’icirc;

    In an interview with Statesman, Little admitted, ‘igrave;It sent chills down my spine. There was a sense of selflessness and dedication I hope everyone appreciates here, both on the part of the hospital and the police staff. It makes me feel good to be a cop.’icirc;

    Bruce Schroffel, Director and CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital, issued a formal statement about the incident.

    ‘igrave;Our staff performed heroically to protect patients and to reassure them’Ouml;I would like to personally thank our employees for their extraordinary performance, and for demonstrating the professionalism and preparedness that makes us a great hospital.

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