A serious act of vandalism at Union College may lead to a student’s suspension or expulsion, but not criminal charges.
Someone destroyed parts of the O3 Cafe — known as the Ozone Cafe — last weekend. The vandal left behind a shocking scene of broken glass covered with blood, apparently from injuries sustained while breaking the glass.
Coolers were smashed, a cash register was destroyed and a television was damaged, college spokesman Phillip Wajda said. The college is still calculating the total cost of the damage, but Schenectady police spokesman Sgt. Mark McCracken said he did not expect it to rise to the level of felony vandalism. Vandals can be charged with felony criminal mischief if they cause more than $250 in damage.
Because the vandal used a swipe card to enter the Reamer Campus Center in the middle of the night, college officials and police believe it was a student.
A police evidence technician went over the scene, and police filed a report, but they have not yet looked into the matter.
Without a felony charge, and with no leads on the perpetrator, McCracken said the Police Department’s busy detectives would generally not be assigned to the case. He added that even if police found the culprit, the college probably wouldn’t cooperate.
“If it turns out to be a student, the college may not press charges,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re going to lock up one of their own students.”
Wajda said college officials expect to find the culprit. The college computer system tracks each card swipe to unlock doors, allowing the college to determine who entered the area that night.
“We have a pretty good idea of who’s responsible,” he said. “We’re currently interviewing people to get to the bottom of it.”
He said the vandal faces suspension or expulsion, depending on “what prompted” the incident. But he agreed that the college is unlikely to take the matter to criminal court.
“It’s just an unfortunate thing,” he said.