JULIANA PELAEZ, TRUMPET CULTURE & DIVERSITY EDITOR
“It’s nothing to joke about. It is a very serious incident,” Jay Tommasin, director of security and safety, said. “The security department itself is very alert to this situation and if we do see anybody acting suspicious in a parking lot we will most certainly identify and approach them.”
On Oct. 18, 2019, an email from the director was sent to the student body to report that approximately three Wartburg student vehicles had the lugnuts on the tires of their vehicles loosened. The report was meant to tell students to check tires before leaving for Fall break.
Ellie Roquet, a third-year student, was not fully aware of the problem. “I called my dad and I was like ‘hey I don’t know what is going on with my car but I think over Fall Break I should probably get it checked out.’ I brought it home and I took my parents vehicle back,” Roquet said. “Then my dad called me back two days later and told me my lugnuts were just loosened and there could have been an accident.”
Roquet thought the incident was coincidental, but talked to security to clear up the matter. However, she soon learned about her roommate having similar issues while driving. “It was the day before Fall Break, I was like we need to let people know,” Roquet said. “We need security to send out something, because even if it is coincidental there’s still a possibility that a lot of students that could get in car accidents on the way home. We were just really considered for the safety of the students.”
Students like Caitilin Dreismeier, a third-year student, had received the email after returning home, but it left her worried about her vehicle. “I live an hour away so if something were to happen it would have happened while I was driving home,” Dreismeier said.
“I wasn’t too worried, but I was more just thinking why would someone do that.” During Dreismeier’s first year on Wartburg’s campus both of her side mirrors were smashed. After the incident Dreismeier became more cautious.
Several other incidents were reported to security involving lugnuts in the N lot and in another lot on campus. “If somebody were to drive down a road and their tire came off and caused an accident where there’s a fatality involved now we are talking about serious criminal actions,” Tommasin said.
Anyone with more information or details should contact Safety and Security at (319) 352-9999 or email Tommasin at firstname.lastname@example.org.