By Brittany Davenport
Shyona Lovelace, a freshman Eastern student, sat in the back of an Eastern police car Wednesday, Oct. 3 as the front steps of Dupree Hall were cleared of stoopers and smokers alike.Lining the sidewalk, friends of Lovelace looked on in disbelief.
In light of the recent debate over students sitting on the front steps of residence halls, a complaint that students were blocking the entranceway to Dupree Hall was called in to campus police, according to a police report.
In response to the call, officers arrived to clear the stairway. As most students began to clear the area, Lovelace “began mouthing off” to officer Jason Spalding, who told Lovelace to “leave, it’s not worth it,” according to the report.
“You don’t know who you’re mother f*cking talking to, I’ll bring my mother f*cking father up here,” Lovelace reportedly said to Spalding. The report said Spalding then directed Lovelace to turn around and told her she was under arrest.
That is when, the police report states, “The fight was on.”
Lovelace continued to fight with the officer, who then pepper sprayed Lovelace.
Witnesses said at one point Lovelace was facedown in the bushes.
An ambulance arrived to treat Lovelace, but she refused medical treatment.
Kendra Bates, a junior occupational therapy major, spoke in Lovelace’s defense.
“I’d hit him too,” Bates said.
After the incident, students talked among themselves.
Kacey Beierlein, a sophomore nursing major, said you could never get to your dorm room. Beierlein said she says, “excuse me” to the students who linger in front of the dorm, but kindness only goes so far.
“They call you a bitch,” she said.
Whittany McMillian, a freshman criminal justice major, said she wasn’t pleased with the arrest. McMillian said she didn’t see what the problem was with students sitting outside. If there’s a problem, McMilllian said she didn’t understand why people don’t ask people to move.
“Why do we have to have the police harass us?” McMillian said. “I don’t see a problem with it; I really don’t,” she said.
Corporal Pat Begley told McMillian, “It’s your RAs and your RHCs who made the call.”
T. Stokes, a junior psychology major, said students could be out stopping other things that really need the cops’ enforcement, such as drugs or robberies.
“We’re sitting on the stairs talking about life,” Stokes said. “They act like we’re harassing people. We’re talking,” she said.
Corporal Begley refused to comment on the arrest.
Attempts were made to contact Police Chief Mark Welker and Director of University Housing Kenna Middleton but no calls were returned in time for press.
Lovelace was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and terroristic threatening.