Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Knife shown at restaurant leads to MSU emergency alerts

March 22, 2023
Police cars lined up behind the East Lansing Police Department on September 10, 2020.
Police cars lined up behind the East Lansing Police Department on September 10, 2020. —
Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

On Wednesday, March 22, the East Lansing Police Department and MSU Department of Police and Public Safety sent out an alert to Michigan State University students, notifying them of the possible presence of an individual with a knife.

At 12:27 p.m., a dispatch call was made to East Lansing Police, a spokesperson for MSU DPPS said.  Both DPPS and ELPD responded to the emergency.

MSU DPPS Police Chief Chris Rozman said ELPD responded to the call from a business where the altercation took place between the suspect and some employees of the business.

“The person was seen with a knife and they left the business and walked across Grand River (Avenue). They were seen on the campus of Michigan State University,” Rozman said.

Neuroscience sophomore Joseph Kesto was getting lunch at the Chipotle Grand River Avenue, where he said the altercation took place.

Kesto said he heard gasps from patrons inside the business when the knife was displayed, buthe didn’t make much of the the gasping at first. 

“I was like ‘okay, it’s probably just someone throwing a fit with one of the employees about their food or something,’” Kesto said.

Around 30 minutes after police responded, the DPPS sent an emergency alert at 12:57 p.m. instructing those nearby to secure in place. It described the suspect as a tall Native American man wearing a gray hoodie and black mask with black pants and a beige coat. He appeared to be light skinned and in his 30s.

In an update sent by MSU DPPS, it was confirmed that although officers were continuing to search for the suspect, there was no longer an imminent threat to campus and the secure-in-place order was being lifted.

At 1:22 p.m., an update on the DPPS Twitter account posted an update which said the suspect was seen at another East Lansing business and was then taken into custody. Rozman confirmed no one was injured in the altercation or during the suspect's subsequent walk to the other business.

East Lansing Police was not immediately available for comment.

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