Campus life generally goes undisturbed as students hustle between classes or flock to the café in Plaza Vaquero and across campus to the seating arrangement by The Wedge.
However, on the morning of Sept. 4, the school’s generally relaxed atmosphere was disturbed when an officer was dispatched to the fitness center after someone made violent threats to a gym employee.
The employee who was threatened said that the suspect, identified as Adam Kenneth Baines, asked if he could use the gym without an ID card because he could not afford to purchase one. The employee allowed him to but said he had to have a towel with him per gym regulations. When Baines said he did not have one, the witness told him that he had to leave because he was already violating two major rules.
Baines then told him that he was an assassin for a company.
“When people snitch on me, I come back and kill them,” he said, before fleeing the building.
Two other witnesses in the gym at the time, one an assistant coach and the other a math professor, also said they had been threatened by the suspect. According to a fourth witness, he looked “pissed off.”
Cpl. Neil Carthew acquired two color photos of Baines from surveillance footage at the Quiznos eatery across the street from campus. Carthew showed the photos to the gym employee, who was able to identify Baines as the suspect. Later that day, Carthew was contacted by detective Crisanta Reyes of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, informing him of a sexual battery incident that occurred just outside of campus on a bus. Her attacker then followed her into a restroom in the San Rafael building.
After informing Reyes of the incident at the fitness center, Carthew sent photos of Baines to see if they were dealing with the same suspect. Reyes compared the photos to a surveillance video from the bus and it appeared that Baines was in both sets of photos.
Baines was taken into custody and is facing one count of sexual battery, one count of battery on a transit passenger, and one count of trespassing at Glendale College.
According to Gary Montecuollo, the chief of police on campus, this is the first incident of its type that he has experienced at the college. He encourages students, faculty and staff to walk in lit areas and travel in pairs when on campus at night. He also recommends they stay alert and aware of their surroundings and to familiarize themselves with the several call boxes on campus so they can immediately report any suspicious persons or unusual
“Free feel to call our college police department for an escort at any time,” he said.
Although an incident such as the one involving Baines is rare, Montecuollo said that, like any city or campus, Glendale College is not exempt from criminal
“Unfortunately, that is part of the world in which we live in,” he said.
The college’s police department also conducts annual training exercises with students and faculty regarding what to do during an emergency. Daily patrol operations are also conducted on campus and the department also offers a full-range of police services, including emergency responses, law enforcement, and lost and found property.
Montecuollo also urges everyone to report actual or suspected criminal activity immediately.
“We prepare an annual security report, which document policies, training, as well as incidents of crime,” he said.
He encourages students to look through the security report to understand the police department’s mission and role on campus while staying informed about what happened on campus.