St. Louis Community College Releases Assault Investigation Findings
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday released an 18-page report on the assault of a female student at its Meramec campus.
The April 18 assault of Blythe Grupe drew much criticism of the college, leading to the resignation of campus president George Wasson and the board’s decision to not extend Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey’s contract.
The investigation conducted by the law firm Armstrong Teasdale, LLP was highly critical of both campus police and district police, concluding that “campus and district police chiefs lack knowledge of basic police procedures.”
“The Chief of the Meramec Campus Police mischaracterized and mishandled the assault and, thereby, confused and delayed poorly prepared administration and communications staff at the campus and at the district from issuing campus-wide alerts,” the reports states, also accusing Police Chief Paul Banta of downplaying Grupe’s injuries and withholding the motives of suspect Jevon Mallory, 19, from the St. Louis County prosecutor.
Perhaps more troubling for school officials is the investigation’s finding that the mishandling of the assault was due to “system-wife failures of campus and district law enforcement, administration and communications, which resulted in an unnecessary threat to the campus from an individual who should have remained in custody rather than being allowed to roam free after the commission of a major felony.”
In a released statement Thursday, St. Louis Community College Board Chair Craig Larson said that from the board’s perspective, “the most disappointing aspect of this report is that so many individuals who could have made a difference throughout this terrible event simply did not act, did not seize control of a bad situation.”Larson says he has given the report’s findings to Grupe and her family and has issued an official apology from the school.