A Gannon University graduate student broke the glass of WERG, the university’s radio station at the corner of Seventh and Peach streets, early Friday morning, according to Chet LaPrice, operations manager at WERG.
According to Ted Marnen, director of Campus Police and Safety, the 23-year-old student – who was wearing a Luigi costume – sustained cuts to his arm and was treated at UPMC Hamot. He was released at 8 a.m. Friday.
Marnen said Gannon’s police received a phone call from the 911 Center informing them of the details of the scene.
LaPrice said Gannon’s Police and Safety called him early Friday morning and informed him of the incident.
“When I arrived at the station, there was a pool of blood and glass,” he said.
He added that Gannon’s police quickly cleaned up the space after he arrived and praised their promptness in responding to the incident and getting the 9-by-4-foot glass replaced.
LaPrice said the student appeared to have been drinking, which may have caused him to lean on the curved glass front of the station and shatter it. The glass adjacent to the one shattered was also cracked and needed to be replaced as well.
“There was blood all over the street and glass all over the building,” he said. “[The student] cut his arm and I hope his injuries are not permanent.”
Marnen said surveillance footage from the night of the incident showed the details of the occurrence at around 2:30 a.m. and helped the department find the student who must have been hospitalized after bleeding on the sidewalk.
“The security camera system showed a student who was dressed up as Luigi from the Mario Brothers game falling against the window,” Marnen said.
“He appeared to have celebrated Halloween in various restaurants and bars around the city.”
He added that the student will likely be fined the amount of the money the university paid to replace the broken glass.
Gannon’s Police and Safety gave the details of the incident to the Erie Police Department, which was investigating a broken glass incident in the Boston Store on the same block that same night, he said.
Vanessa Cherry, a junior communications arts student and the station’s program director, said she woke up to a call from LaPrice early Friday morning informing her that the station’s morning show at the station wasn’t carried out because of the incident.
“We didn’t want anyone on premises getting hurt,” she said. “But he assured me that everything was being handled and that Gannon police had already gotten there and cleaned up the glass and the blood on the street.”
Cherry said she reached the station around 8:30 a.m. Friday and found a board placed on the broken window and repairmen were coming to fix it.
LaPrice said the station had to cancel its live morning show Friday as the station was not cleared yet. Normal programming at the station resumed at 9 a.m. He added that equipment in the station remained intact.
LaPrice said that despite the damage he hoped that the incident could serve as a teachable moment.
“There are limits to behavior and there are consequences when you exceed these limits,” LaPrice said.