Eating chips in Coppin library lands student in jail for 9 hours

May 07, 1992|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Staff Writer Staff writer Bruce Reid contributed to this article.

A Coppin State College student who was breaking the rules by eating potato chips in the campus library ended up in a police lockup for some nine hours Monday night after a run-in with a campus security guard.

About 150 students gathered on campus yesterday to discuss and protest the arrest, students and administration officials said.

The student, Patrick Omo-Osagie, 26, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after the Monday incident. His face was bruised during the arrest, said his younger brother, Solomon, also a Coppin student.

"Students are disgusted. They are angry," said Solomon Omo-Osagie. "The officer simply overreacted. Instead of . . . addressing more serious problems on campus -- such as outsiders who come onto campus to commit crimes -- he simply acted in a situation that did not warrant his excessive use of force."

But Sydney Krome, Coppin's vice president for academic affairs, said Patrick Omo-Osagie was arrested only after he refused to stop eating and produce his student identity card.

Dr. Krome said police reports showed that the student began "flailing his arms" as the officer tried to escort him from the library. "Apparently, there was an altercation. It's regrettable when a student decides for whatever reason that he's not going to follow the rules."

Solomon Omo-Osagie said his brother balked at leaving because the officer would not say where he was taking him. He said his brother's face was bruised as security officers put handcuffs on him and that he was examined later at Liberty Medical Center.

A Liberty official could not confirm that Mr. Omo-Osagie had been to the hospital Tuesday.

Coppin security guards arrested Mr. Omo-Osagie and took him to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District Station, where he was booked about 6 p.m. Monday, police spokesman Sam Ringgold said. He was released on his own recognizance about 3:10 a.m. Tuesday. A court commissioner arrived late that evening, which lengthened Mr. Omo-Osagie's stay in the lockup, Mr. Ringgold said.

Solomon Omo-Osagie said his brother would not comment on the arrest, on the advice of his attorney.

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