Wake Forest investigating charges against students
October 23, 2007
Wake Forest University is investigating allegations that four Wake Forest undergraduate male students damaged cars parked in a hotel parking lot in Annapolis on the weekend that Wake Forest played Navy in a football game at the academy.
University officials learned Oct. 21 that Anne Arundel County Police in Annapolis charged students on that day with destruction of property in connection with two cars found damaged. One car was found damaged on the night of Oct. 19; another was found damaged on the night of Oct. 20.
The students had accompanied other students on a university-sponsored bus trip to Annapolis for the Oct. 20 game. The group arrived in Annapolis Oct. 19 and left Oct. 21.
The group stayed during that time at a hotel where the cars were damaged. University officials are gathering information from the Anne Arundel County Police Department and several other sources.
Three of the students were arrested Oct. 21, before the bus left the hotel. They were released from custody later that same day.
According to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, one student was charged with destruction of property in connection with two damaged cars. Two students were charged with destruction of property in connection with one of the two cars. A destruction of property charge, associated with one of the cars, is pending against a fourth student. That student was not arrested in Annapolis and returned with the group on the bus.
"We are very troubled by these reports and take them very seriously,” Vice President for Student Life Ken Zick said. “The university has in place judicial procedures that address matters such as these internally. In accordance with university policy, the university is investigating these reports.”
Zick added that Wake Forest “takes great interest in the conduct of students, especially in regard to a university-sponsored trip.”
In one case, a car’s rear window was broken and other damage occurred. In the second case, a car was “keyed,” meaning that a key was apparently used to scratch paint on parts of the car.
In addition, in the second case, a witness told police that she found a racial epithet written in condensation on the keyed car. Police did not file a charge in connection with the reported epithet.
Since the charges were made Oct. 21, university officials have spoken with those whose cars were damaged.