String of Break-ins May Underscore a Trend

The Psi U lodge on Kokosing Drive has not been actively used since the fraternity was put on probation in 2009.

The Psi-U lodge on Kokosing Drive has not been actively used since the fraternity was put on probation in 2009.

Three students were arrested on May 9 for breaking into the Psi-U lodge on Kokosing Dr., according to a Knox County Sheriff’s Office report obtained by The Thrill.

Garrison Block ’16, Victor Progar ’14 and Brendan McGoldrick ’14 have been accused of criminal trespass, a fourth degree misdemeanor.

The incident is the third notable break-in to occur within the last month and the second to involve Kenyon students and off-campus property.

News of the break-in at the Psi-U lodge — which has not been used officially since the fraternity was put on probation in 2009 — comes amidst a break-in at Village Market that resulted in the theft of over $6,000 in cash, as well as an incident on Kenyon Road for which a former student was indicted on fourth-degree felony charges of criminal trespass by a Knox County grand jury on May 7. The student transferred out of Kenyon for reasons unrelated to this incident.

Block, Progar and McGoldrick were found in the Psi-U lodge at approximately 4:23 a.m. on May 9 by Sergeant John Rine and Deputy David Devolld of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Rine and Devolld said they were called to the scene by Campus Safety officers who had responded to an alarm that went off.

Rine arrested all three students and transported them to Knox County Jail where they were charged with criminal trespass after he contacted Tracy Smith of Mount Gilead, the lodge’s caretaker.

All three students were arraigned on May 9 — each pled not guilty — and are scheduled to appear in court on May 21 for a pretrial hearing. If they maintain their current pleas, the students will have a court trial on June 4.

The maximum penalty for misdemeanor criminal trespass is a $250 fine and 30 days in jail, though that sentence “does not happen often,” according to Mount Vernon Assistant City Prosecutor Robert Broeren.

Block and Progar declined to comment for this article, and McGoldrick did not respond to a request for comment.

19 responses

  1. This is hateful. This blog shouldn’t be a platform for airing the “dirty laundry” of Kenyon’s students.

    • But as an element of Gambier’s only newspaper, it’s the duty of The Thrill to report on events that affect the community, including crimes that are matters of public record.

    • Would you really call reporting on crimes in the community “dirty laundry”? If this post involved rumor, gossip, or bias of any kind, I’d agree with you, but to me this seems more like the basic function of a news source in a small community.

    • Hoyt’s got a point. This is news involving the community of Gambier and Kenyon College, and one responsibility of the newspaper is to maintain a blotter and elaborate on it when relevant. This was a well-written and legally neutral article. Crime does occur here and sometimes students are accused of bringing it about. To turn a blind eye is hardly tactful avoidance of hatred.

  2. This is truly disgusting. If anyone ever wonders why the ‘kenyon community’ feeling is dying, look no further. You must realize that everything written and published on the internet is saved and can be searched for at any time? Whenever anyone, whether it be a future employer or love, searches the names of these people, ‘arrest’ and ‘felony’ will show up. And they haven’t even been tried or convicted! Innocent until proven guilty. Haven’t you (@ the collegian) learned anything from your debacle of the whole Steve Zangarelli case? Your publishing license is not only a privilege, but a responsibility to protect the identities and integrities of your fellow students. Shame shame shame on you, you foolish bastards

    • This article is unrelated to the Stephen Zingarelli piece. That article was of clear interest to the public and acknowledged an issue that is frequently swept under the rug especially on college campuses.

      This article, however, is not hateful, but it is the equivalent of trolling. The author wanted to tell a story. He gave no thought to whether or not it would do harm or help. He just wanted to prove that he had the information. Fine. Well played. He found a public record. But in the process he also sacrificed his journalistic ethics and morals to make a point. And not a very good one. Have fun in the real world, Mr. Colt. Looks like there will be many more enemies then friends.

      • Why do Kenyon students think that they have some special privilege because they go to a small school? If this were a larger school than this would 100% be covered (source: I’m from a University town and read the student paper). What journalistic ethic did he break? If a newspaper was just a list of good things that happened it would be a press release. Journalists are tasked with contextualizing information and covering what happens in our lives, good or bad. If you believe that we should have everything sugar-coated for us in the real world, you are the one that is going to have a tough time in the real world, not Mr. Colt.

      • Most towns have a section of the newspaper that covers individuals who have been arrested. It’s called the “lockup” section and just has mugshots with the arrests underneath each individual picture. Trust me, I’m not an idiot. I know this sort of reporting is the “norm” at most places. I believed that the Kenyon Collegian and the Thrill should ascribe to higher principles than this. It should report on issues that are of legitimate public interest and not just focus on outing kids who do really unnewsworthy things. And trust me, this is absolutely unnewsworthy, but it is good gossip. Definitely worthy of space in Star magazine or some other equally distasteful gossip rag.

  3. @Anonymous 5/28 10:32AM If all the Collegian or Thrill covered was private interest, it would be of no use at all. ‘Legitimate public interest’ is not what news is for. What a completely narrow-minded view of the media. Furthermore, the Collegian has an equivalent to the lock-up section, or at least a police report in the form of the Village Record, however this is a student who *was* indicted for a felony. It’s not a sentence or assertion of guilt, it is covering the fact that she has been indicted. That is news, whether the people of Kenyon like it or not.

    • Can’t wait till you’ve been indicted for smoking weed or underage consumption. It’s really going to make my day.

      • And now we see the difference between covering the news and legitimate spite, way to actively make our community a more welcoming and friendly place @Anonymous 5/29 5:31pm

  4. Look, I live a short distance from the locations of both recent break-ins in Gambier, and I consider this a useful news source that gives me information about my community. I would be very unhappy as a local citizen NOT to be able to learn about these events in just the way they have been reported here.

  5. Yeah everyone makes mistakes from time to time, is that a reason to crucify them? Goddamn it we’re all human, and none of us are perfect. So what and ex- Psi U wants to go back to his lodge, can you blame him? It’s like you people are fucking perfect beings. Discretion is very important, now that the information age makes everything so readily available. You don’t realize the consequences of publishing this. The lodge was empty, the home of the elderly lady is newsworthy, though I think we should get to the bottom of what really happened before publishing.

    And why do kenyon kids feel “entitled” to a sense of community? Because that’s what we are, a fucking community of imperfect human beings, who realize exactly that, nobody is perfect. I wish the thrill OR collegian would wait until the verdict has been finalized before they publish; this yellow, sensationalist journalism has no place at Kenyon.

    Political Science is one of our most popular majors, and it stresses that there are always multiple sides to a story, and that full evaluation is more important than hastily made decisions. I’d hate to live in a place where you through your friendships under the bus the second somebody makes a poor decision.

    To the person who said” I can’t wait til you get caught with weed,” I can’t wait til you exit the planet. The world doesn’t need tattletales who get so involved in other people’s business. Mind your own shit, and remember the American Mantra which seems to be so overlooked nowadays: Innocent until proven guily. Let’s see you have your hand caught in the cookie jar and beg for mercy. You deserve none. You are repulsive. Now more than ever we need understanding, and reporting so assuredly when a story just breaks is wrong. Wait until all of the facts are on the table.

    In short, give these souls who you so readily criminalize a chance. You don’t know the truth, they don’t know the truth. Is there ever a universal truth?

    • Sometimes I think that our “Kenyon education” has created a few types of people. One is the person that actually understands things, and another is the person that thinks he understands things but is far too stupid to ever understand things correctly, but he thinks he understands things correctly nonetheless. “Is there ever a universal truth?”–I really hope you were wasted when you typed your comment…

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