Tuesday, February 27, 2024

East Lansing police in contact with mask man's family; monitoring for law violations

January 30, 2023
A police car at the East Lansing Police Department in East Lansing on Sept. 21, 2021.
A police car at the East Lansing Police Department in East Lansing on Sept. 21, 2021. —
Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

The East Lansing Police Department, or ELPD, has confirmed that police officers and a social worker have been in contact with the man wearing a black plastic mask several times in recent weeks. The man’s family has also been involved. 

“Two ELPD officers met with the individual and his family members to discuss his recent behavior,” the police department said in a social media post. “At the meeting, it was explained to the individual by ELPD’s officers and his family that his behavior has raised concerns in the community.”

Police said its Neighborhood Resource Teams and Crisis Intervention Team have been “working with local partners to monitor this individual for any law violations or other interventions.”

ELPD spokesperson Captain Chad Pride said no criminal complaints have been filed against this individual nor is there any active criminal investigation or arrest warrant. 

“This individual has the opportunity, just like everybody else, to be free and go on their way,” Pride said. 

Pride said those who feel scared or unsafe should call the 911 emergency number or the ELPD’s non-emergency line and remove themselves from the situation. 

 “If something doesn’t feel right, I would move on to a different area where I feel more comfortable, and then I would contact the police,” Pride said.

In non-emergency situations, people can call ELPD at 517-351-4220. In case of emergencies, call 9-1-1.

 Michigan State University Police Department spokesperson Dana Whyte said although most of the reports have been off-campus, the MSUPD has been in contact with the ELPD on the matter.

The scissors and hammer the individual was carrying around are no longer in his possession, Whyte said. 

 Whyte said the MSUPD encourages people to reach out if they see anything suspicious on campus or contact the ELPD for off-campus concerns.

 “Our biggest thing that we say is ‘if you see something, say something,’” Whyte said.

The MSUPD’s non-emergency line is 517-355-2221.

Whyte said the department also encourages students to download SafeMSU, an app that provides MSU students with access to valuable safety resources.

Whyte said the app has the MSUPD’s contact information along with resources such as location tracking for friends and information on CATA bus services. She said it’s a way for students to have everything regarding safety in one place. 

“We want to encourage students that we’re always here for them and we want to be that resource for them if they are nervous or have any questions,” Whyte said. “So, don’t hesitate to reach out in any way.

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