Suspicious Man on Campus Identified

Photo by Jose Servin
Photo By Jose Servin
Photo By Jose Servin / el Don

By Joanna Meza

An investigation into the suspect who left a threatening note last month is still ongoing, but the individual has been identified, Chief of District Safety and Security Alistair Winter said. Security video footage allowed safety and security to identify the suspect in the library prior to entering the C-Building.

“The suspect had been in the library on March 19. We checked the name he used to sign in to the library through the available databases,” Winter said. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to trace him yet.”

It remains unexplained why professor Vera Holder was repeatedly sent to voicemail when she tried calling the safety and security office.“We have been working with two outside consultants and AT&T regarding our phones,” Winter said.

The day of the incident Holder attempted to contact safety and security but received no response. She then proceeded to call the Santa Ana Police Department. She tried calling campus security three times after but was directed to voicemail.

As a precaution, Holder locked all nine students in a faculty office. “I tried for them [students] to not hear my frustration and anger, and I didn’t really know what was going on,” Holder said.

 The two safety officers on duty that day, Patrick Lee and Evelyn Vazquez, are part-timers.

Officer Lee was off campus at the time the incident occurred patrolling one of the satellite campuses while officer Vazquez stayed behind.

The investigation involving personnel is not open to the public, Winter said.

In the safety and security office incident report Holder was described as a brown-haired humanities professor with an angry demeanor.

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“Ms. Holder was calm and collected when she took us into the teacher’s office area,” said Tanya Salcido, one of the nine students.  “She made several calls and was determined to get security and/or the police to help us. I felt safe knowing she was there to help us.”

 The SAPD also completed an incident report that shows officers responded to a terrorism call. The officers were dispatched at 4:23 p.m. and arrived on scene at 4:31 p.m. They tried entering the C-Building but said that the outside doors were locked. Professor Holder was asked if she or a student could go open the door for the officers.

“I’m not sending a student — there is no way I’ll send a student — so I put one of the students on the phone with the dispatch. I told her if you hear anything you just tell them what you hear but do not open this door, so then I came out and opened the door for Santa Ana PD,” Holder said.

Professor Holder, along with the Communication Studies Club, has set up a public forum with Safety and Security, psych services and the SAPD this Thursday. It will focus on how to handle emergency situations such as active shooters.

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