UM beefs up security to bar 'chickens'

March 25, 1992|By Lou Ferrara | Lou Ferrara,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- The University of Maryland Board of Regents didn't take any chances on another pie-throwing chicken.

The university beefed up security yesterday at a meeting of its finance committee in the wake of last month's cream pie attack on regent Frank Perdue by an animal rights activist in a yellow-feathered chicken suit. But no demonstrators or assailants materialized yesterday, feathered or otherwise.

While most regent gatherings are watched over by three or four uniformed university police, yesterday's meeting was guarded by a dozen officers -- some in uniform and others in plain clothes. They required members of the audience to sign in and state their affiliation.

"Let's just say, I'm sure we have very good security here," said Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, who oversees the UM System.

At the outset of yesterday's 9 a.m. gathering, Ann Hull, the finance committee chairwoman, told an audience of 30 that observers who interrupted the proceedings would be asked to leave.

Mr. Perdue, 72 sat quietly, flanked by a bodyguard. He had no comment on the extra protection.

At last month's meeting, four animal rights activists were arrested after a woman wearing the chicken suit smacked the country's fourth-largest poultry producer in the face. A Rockville group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, claimed responsibility.

Juliana Aleva, 20, of Gaithersburg, Heidi Prescott, 33, of Silver Spring and Susan Brebnor, 44, of Silver Spring are awaiting trial April 6 on charges of disorderly conduct. They were arrested in a noisy demonstration that interrupted the meeting and distracted police while the pie attack was carried out.

Jennifer Woods, 29, of Gaithersburg, the accused pie-thrower, is also awaiting trial on the same date for misdemeanor assault as well as disorderly conduct.

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