Suspect charged with pulling 5 of 6 CSUN fire alarms

Kari Thumlert

A CSUN student has been arrested and charged with five counts of unlawful tampering with a fire alarm, which is a misdemeanor.

The student, whose name is being withheld, was taken to Devonshire Police Station, where he was booked and later released on bail. An arraignment is pending.

Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police, said they made the arrest after “another good Samaritan came forward and identified who she saw pull the fire alarm.”

Villalobos said police then spotted the person who fit the description the witness gave, police questioned him and he confessed to setting off the fire alarms. The suspect is believed to be the same student who vandalized Jerome Richfield Hall on the first day of classes by marking up glass cases and wall placards.

The student, a political science major, set off three alarms on Jan. 31 and two alarms on Feb. 1. The five locations are Eucalyptus Hall, Jerome Richfield Hall, Juniper Hall, Sierra Hall and the University Student Union Gym.

A sixth fire alarm was set off Friday after someone broke a water pipe that caused flooding on the third floor of the University Student Union. Police say the incident is unrelated.

“These acts are not funny pranks,” Villalobos said. “They are crimes.”

Every fire alarm is taken very seriously and outside agencies respond, such as Los Angeles Fire Department, which prevents them from responding to true emergencies, not to mention the costs, she said.

Villalobos said the incidents have been reported to William Watkins, the vice president of Student Affairs, who handles student disciplinary issues.

Watkins said any infraction that violates the code of conduct punishment can range from writing a paper on the incident to expulsion, including monetary restitutions to those who have been affected.

The first thing he tries to do is get to the “why” a student has committed an infraction and tries to avoid expulsion. in any other CSU in the state, he said.