Intruder enters Little Building dormitory

by Mike Disman / Beacon Staff • October 11, 2012

Tharp breakin
The intruder broke into a dorm on the ninth floor.
The intruder broke into a dorm on the ninth floor.

Boston Police arrested a man on the eighth floor of the Little Building yesterday, charging him with trespassing and breaking and entering. 

David Maglio, a 32-year-old male from Boston, was escorted out of the building in handcuffs at around 9:15 a.m., according to the Boston Police Department Bureau of Public Information. The officers said they found a laptop and cell phone in Maglio’s possession. 

According to the BPD, they were contacted by the Emerson College Police Department,  which had been alerted of the presence of a suspicious looking man in the dormitory. 

Andrew Tiedemann, vice president of public affairs, said in an email statement to the Beacon that no students were harmed and no personal property was lost. 

“Emerson College Police apprehended and arrested an intruder in the Little Building,” said Tiedemann in the email. “The College believes its security is sound and that this was a highly unusual event. Nonetheless, Emerson is reviewing its building access and security procedures.”

According to students living on the Little Building’s ninth floor, an unknown man was seen at various points throughout Tuesday night, wandering the halls and knocking on doors.

Lauren Pizzi, a freshman visual and media arts major, said that she saw a stranger at 4 a.m. in the ninth floor hallway. When she confronted him, she said that he asked her for directions to a room that he was standing in front of, and she pointed behind him.

After returning to her room, Pizzi said she and her roommate Amelia Elizade were awoken at 7:15 a.m. when their door was opened by the same stranger, who asked if they had a charger for a Samsung Galaxy phone. The roommates said they told the man — who Elizade described as tall and wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap — that they did not have a charger and promptly asked him to leave. 

Elizade said that after the intruder left their room, he sat in the floor’s common room and then proceeded to knock on more doors throughout the hall before stumbling upon the room of a resident assistant. 

Elizade said she and Pizzi went back to sleep after the incident. She said she learned the next day that an RA had alerted ECPD of the stranger. 

Ian Vlahakis, a freshman and resident of the Little Building on the eighth floor, said he returned after his morning shower to find that his laptop and cell phone were missing from his room.

When Vlahakis went to report his lost technology to ECPD, he was informed that a suspect had been apprehended, and was allowed to reclaim his property after providing a witness statement.

“It was a good wake-up call,” said Vlahakis, a visual and media arts major. “I definitely won’t be as liberal about unlocking my door as I was previously. It’s just stuff. Live and let learn.”

Rule 14 of the student handbook states, “Resident students are required to present their IDs to the desk receptionist each time they enter a residence hall.” 

This is the second known incident of a stranger entering an Emerson building this year. On Sept. 17, ECPD reported that an unidentified man was seen traveling the Walker Building. Signs posted on campus by ECPD cautioned students about the incident. 

While many ninth floor residents are wondering how a non-Emerson resident found his way onto their floor and alledgedly spent the night there, many disagree about who is to blame and whether they feel safe living on campus.

Following the arrest, Pizzi said she questioned how safe living in the dorms really is.

“It’s really scary that he was in our room. I usually feel safe on campus. I did,” said Pizzi. “I have no idea how he could have gotten in the dorm without an ID. Emerson definitely needs to check who’s coming into the dorms.”

Harry Whitney, a ninth floor resident and freshman visual and media arts major, said student employees who check IDs in front of each dormitory entrance should be more cautious. 

“Maybe those people on the first floor with the badges on need to step their game up,” said Whitney. “I think it’s pretty unbelievable that this person got into the building, honestly. I don’t know how he would. I’m pretty disappointed.”

However, Vlahakis, who temporarily lost his laptop and phone, said he still feels secure on campus. 

“I think we’re pretty safe here,” said the freshman visual and media arts major. “But I think the security guys at night need to really be on their guard. It’s a little concerning to see security guards at night being inattentive, but we’re all human.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that students were wondering how an unknown man entered the building and spent the night there. Boston Police have not yet determined whether the man spent the night in the Little Building.