Campus Angered Over Wave of Hit and Runs

Sose Frankyan

College faculty, staff and students
have recently found their cars vandalized and damaged in hit-and-run incidents that have become a widely reported problem on campus.

Since the beginning of the year there have been 268 reported hit- and-run incidents in Glendale, including three on campus.

One month ago Rob Liddiard,the language lab supervisor, found his car’s driver’s side mirror torn off and skid marks on the side of the car.

“I had parked my car on the fire access road between the two entrances to the construction site and left plenty of room on each side of the driveways, but found my car wrecked,” said Liddiard. “It was obvious a construction truck hit my car because of the marks on my car,” he added.

California Vehicle Code Section 20002 defines a hit and run as the “driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to any property, including
vehicles and persons and flees the scene.”

“What is frustrating is that the mirror was put back on the car so that when I opened the door it fell off,” added Liddiard. “There was no note left on the car and there were no witnesses to the incident.”

Hit and runs can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. If there are no injuries involved to the parties then it is a misdemeanor. An injury to the victim is classified
as a felony hit and run.

“If you are involved in a traffic collision with anything, whether it be a fire hydrant, a car, or a building, you have to somehow attempt the best way you can to contact the responsible party for the vehicle
or item,” said Glendale Police
Officer William Frommling. “If you look around and don’t see anybody, then leave a note with your name and contact number so they can contact you.”

According to campus police Captain Nidal Kobaissi, “The most common hit and runs on campus happen in the parking lots.”

A similar incident happened with Henan Joof, the outreach coordinator at the Student Outreach Services. After work on April 10, he found his new car rear-ended and scratched.

“I had left enough space for the car behind me and I am sure it was not done on purpose, but it is the principle of taking responsibility for one’s own actions,” said Joof.

Accidents happen and according to Joof, a former student president who feels a sense of community and family on campus, “if I had hit someone’s car I would have left a note saying I am sorry with my contact information, because I respect
other people’s property.”

“It is very upsetting to find out that things of such nature happen on this campus,” said student Lusine Mikaelyan. “I park my car in Lot B, but always fear that something will happen to my car,” added Mikaelyan.

According to college police cadet
Sevan Sarkisyan, “the frustrating thing about hit and runs are that most of it goes unreported and we never even find out about it.”

In another incident, Trudi Abram, on the faculty of Visual and Performing Arts, discovered her car intentionally keyed on the driver’s side.

“It is very disheartening to come and find your car vandalized in some way, particularly when it is very special to you,” said Abram.

The car had a new custom paint job and redoing the paint job will cost Abram approximately $3,000. The incident happened before spring break and Abram thinks that it had nothing to do with retribution but “simply some student making a poor decision.”

One month ago, student Nonia Zargarian found her car about 15 feet away from where she had originally parked it before attending
class.

“I returned to my car after class and found two Glendale police officers near my car,” she said. “I thought I was getting a ticket, but then realized that the left side of my car was completely destroyed and shriveled up,” said Zargarian.

“It took over three weeks for the body shop to fix my car, and luckily my insurance paid the cost of the damage, which was $9,500,” she added.

Kobaissi suggests that anyone involved in a hit- and-run incident, and it does not necessarily have to be a severe accident, should leave a note with contact information for the owner of the damaged vehicle.

“It is a lot easier to deal with it that way then flee the scene and have a witness report to the police and have the police come after you,” said Kobaissi. “It is also the moral thing to do,” he added