Smith Center vandalism leads to pool draining

Smith Center vandalism results in pool draining

Smith Center staff drained and cleaned the building’s 190,000-gallon swimming pool this week after a brick was thrown through one of the double-paned windows near the pool early Monday morning, sending shards of glass into the water.

University Police reported that an officer was leaving Funger Hall at 12:45 a.m. Monday when he saw subjects kicking the windows surrounding the Smith Center pool.

The three subjects saw the officer and ran in different directions. He pursued one of the men, caught up with him and grabbed him by the jacket. The subject then pushed the officer against a tree and ran away.

UPD officers searched the area and found the brick but were unable to locate the subjects.

All recreational swimming is canceled this week because of the vandalism, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities Tony Vecchione said.

Vecchione said the damage occurred to a single window in the pool room. He said the subjects first smashed the window with a brick, then started kicking the pane.

He said the pool will take more than a week to clean and is usually only drained once a year.

“Whoever threw the brick through the window does not understand what’s involved to get glass out of a pool,” Vecchione said. “If you throw a brick through an office window, you can fix it quick.”

He said it takes more than five days to drain, sweep and fill the 25-yard pool.

Junior and captain of the GW swimming and diving team Dave Dillehay said the team missed four days of practice.

Vecchione said this is the first time the building has had to close the pool because of vandalism in 30 years.

Water polo Coach Scott Reed said the closure will not affect the men’s and women’s teams because the season ended last weekend.

“We are lucky it didn’t happen during the (water polo) season,” Vecchione said.

Metropolitan Police officials said they had no details but assumed a standard destruction of property report had been filed. Officers were unable to locate the report.

-Trevor Martin

UPD reveals new MVC theft case information

University Police reported that a student withheld information about thefts at the Mount Vernon Campus last fall to protect the identity of an Aramark worker who allegedly sold him drugs.

Four Somers Hall students said that a maintenance worker stole $1,300 in cash and valuables from their rooms, according to a Feb. 7 Hatchet article.

UPD Director Dolores Stafford said the student, who was caught in possession of marijuana a month ago, admitted that he hadn’t come forward about the worker, who students called “Marlin,” because the worker was selling him drugs.

Freshman Tanner Blonquist said in the Feb. 7 report that he had more than $1,000 of merchandise stolen from his Mount Vernon room and did not report it to UPD because he thought he could get it back from Marlin personally.

Marlin was fired in the fall, according to the report.

Blonquist denied that the maintenance worker ever dealt drugs and said Marlin was only fired for stealing from students.

“Marlin had nothing to do with drugs,” Blonquist said.

Blonquist was removed from University housing earlier this semester. He denied he was evicted for drug-related reasons and declined to comment on the reason he was removed from housing.

-Trevor Martin and Erin Gamble

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