Gillian Reinhard ’20
In a roughly two-week period, eight “Timely Warning” emails were released from the Campus Safety Department to the community regarding paintball attacks. An Oct. 3 email from Campus Safety indicated that the City of Hartford frequently sees an increase in paintball attacks to coincide with Halloween, particularly late at night.
The first instance occurred when a student was struck by a paintball on Summit Street near the first-year residence Fuston, and was followed by another attack where a Securitas officer was struck on Summit Street near Wheaton.
Additionally, in the early morning on Sunday, Oct. 27, there were two reports of paintballs being shot on Allen Place with no injuries. The early morning of Friday Nov. 1 saw four separate reports of paintball attacks on Allen Place with two students injured. Tripod A&E editor Hunter Savery ’20 was enjoying the Halloween weekend outside of Kappa Sig. in costume when the paintball attacks began.
“So there I was, exterior of Kappa Sig., circa midnight. It’s me, Trinna Larsen ’20, and Will Tjeltveit ’20. And then suddenly, chaos. People yelling, paint splattered,” commented Savery.
Emails from Campus Safety have given advice for students to “travel in groups” and utilize “internal pathways that are well lit.” Director of Campus Safety Brian Heavren spoke to the Tripod, adding that paintball attacks are a “problem throughout the City of Hartford.” Heavren indicated that Trinity Campus Safety is working closely with the Hartford Police Department. “The College added extra Hartford Police patrols, increased the number of Campus Safety and Securitas officers patrolling Allen Place, and have installed new technology to help identify and hold accountable the people involved. Hopefully, these steps will be helpful in stopping these incidents on campus,” said Heavren.
Timely warnings are mandated by the Clery Act of 1990, a federal statute which requires colleges to release warnings when an incident poses a “serious or on-going threat to the campus community” according to the clerycenter.org. Trinity Campus Safety’s timely warning emails encouraged students to utilize Campus Safety shuttles and walking escorts if they feel unsafe at any time.
With the month of November approaching, paintball attacks are expected to go down. The Tripod has previously reported on paintball attacks, with the month of October 2018 seeing multiple paintball attacks. Last year, in 2018, WTNH featured a story on a particular neighborhood in Hartford susceptible to paintball attacks. The article acknowledged the common confusion of shooting a paintball gun with an actual gun, which can cause distress and confusion.
Trinity Campus Safety encourages students to reach out to the department if they witness a crime. Timely warning emails from Campus Safety emphasize reaching out to the emergency line at (860) 297-2222 as well as utilizing the blue lights scattered around the campus.