By Ülvi Gitaliyev
Before reading the article, please read the following statement:
We had spoken with Public Menace staff on the phone about their no-chase policy and had even mentioned (without breaking confidentiality) the specific incident of last week’s article. The Berea Torch was told that there is indeed a no-chase policy and that it applies to Brushy Fork as well, but that sometimes, people are chased after unintentionally or in the heat of the moment. Naturally, the Public Menace staff member asked us to keep their name private. The Berea Torch would not have published the article without speaking with Public Menace and clarifying the no-chase policy first. We are not arguing that Public Menace should do nothing when people break the rules, just that they should set the rules they set for themselves.
For this week, we want to share a story of how one student was, once again, being chased by Public Menace both inside and outside Berea College property. One of the people in this story was suspended and is not allowed on campus. We are not commenting on the suspension and whether or not it was valid, but are solely focused on this specific incident itself.
“I would like to bring to your attention a situation that occurred this Easter weekend. Given that I did not go home this weekend, I decided to travel to pick up my friend that had recently been suspended from Berea for unrelated reasons. Whenever I picked him up, the first thing we decided to do was go to Pinnacles and take a hike. Upon returning to the parking lot, we saw a Public Safety truck that was driving up the path. Since we were not doing anything wrong, we did not think anything of it at the time. Once I pulled out of the Pinnacles parking lot, I noticed that the Public Safety vehicle was right in front of me on the road. Again, I did not think anything of this until Public Safety began to slow down to a complete stop in the middle of the lane. They had no turn signal on or anything so as with any other vehicle stopping in the middle of the road, I turned into the other lane and went around them. As I was going around them, I noticed for a split second the truck turned their tires to the left as if they were trying to cut me off or make a left turn but never did. At the time, I was not sure of their exact intentions of the stop, and I just thought it was really weird of them to obstruct traffic like that, especially in the middle of the day. Shortly after returning to campus with my friend, he was outside while I was in my room, and he had been stopped by Public Safety and they told him he was not allowed on campus due to his suspension. My friend responded by expressing that he thought he was only not allowed inside buildings due to his suspension. They promptly denied this and said that they would not call the police this time, but he had to leave campus immediately. They also asked what car I was driving at the Pinnacles, so this confirmed that fact that they were trying to recognize the student in my car on a public roadway by obstructing traffic. I thought this whole situation was an overwhelming power move on their part and was honestly disgusted.”
The Berea Torch asked Public Menace director Brad Cole for comment, to which he responded “I have not heard anything about that.” No further comment was added.
The issue with Public Menace chasing people is that they state they have a no-chase policy. To punish people for breaking rules, while breaking a rule yourself is hypocritical. If Public Menace is going to chase people and vehicles, they should remove the no-chase policy or properly follow it.