Two Kutztown students, Shahaid and Kali Smith, were arrested for assaults at Deatrick Hall and the Briar Cliff Apartments, respectively, on the morning of March 28 on campus.
University police arrested Shahaid at Keystone Hall last Thursday morning for the March 8 armed robbery at Deatrick Hall. Kali was arrested by Kutztown borough police the same morning at Golden Bear Village South for a March 30, 2012 robbery at the Cliffs Apartments.
Both are being detained at Berks County Prison on a $200,000 bail, according to Matt Santos, the director of University Relations. The university placed them on interim suspension. While Shahaid, a leading receiver, left the football team after the 2012 season, Kali, a defensive back, was suspended from the team.
Shahaid was identified as one of the alleged perpetrators after police talked with the two victims. According to the Police Criminal Complaint report, the two victims were in their Deatrick Hall room when they heard a knock on their door. The door was forced open by one of the suspects, while the second victim was struck in the face by a firearm. The three suspects entered and the first victim had a gun pointed at his face. The suspects left after a short time. The second victim said that two assailants had firearms, but Shahaid did not.
The first victim gave police two phone numbers that called him after the incident. He said that one of the callers, who was also in his room on the night of the robbery, was Shahaid. Victim no. 2 also confirmed Shahaid being involved in the robbery, saying he made eye contact with the suspect.
Shahaid was charged with robbery, conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespassing and simple assault. Santos says that the police did not provide any evidence besides the affidavit that contains the victims’ stories.
Police continue the investigation of the two unknown males that assisted Shahaid Smith.
Kutztown borough police received a report of the robbery. According to the Police Criminal Complaint report, two of the four owners of the house were present when the robbery occurred. Two of the three recognized one suspect, Christopher Biney, who was charged. Two other participants, Anthony Battle and Jesse Thomas, along with Biney, said Kali was involved in the robbery. Battle said that Kali possessed a handgun and was shouting at the second victim while inside the victim’s room. Thomas said that he and the other participants met in a dormitory room, where Kali obtained two handguns before the robbery.
Kali was arrested for robbery of property valued at $3,700, including laptops, a phone, game system and marijuana, and faces charges such as simple assault, burglary and terroristic threats.
Santos hopes that these arrests brought comfort to the students.
“I think this is obviously a step in the right direction to curbing crime on and off campus,” said Santos.
He said that the police and the vice president for Administration and Finance have discussed many possibilities for increased safety in the future. One outcome was the decision to station Community Assistants at the doors of residence halls for 24 hours instead of until only 2 a.m. Students have also voiced suggestions such as peepholes for doors and surveillance cameras.
He said that Public Safety and Police services will continue to provide increased security until the end of the semester, especially during the nighttime hours. He also said that students should continue to be vigilant.
“It is important that students make wise decisions regarding their safety,” said Santos.
He said that these incidences of crime received much media attention since they are “not the norm” as compared to other campuses.
“We’ve done everything we can to let current and potential students to know that we believe it is still a safe campus,” he said.
By Emily Leayman