An hour after a Facilities Management meeting on equal opportunity and respect for fellow employees, University Police cited a department supervisor for threatening to cause bodily harm to an employee.
Tenenge Teshome Belachew, who works for Facilities Management in Willey Hall, said a supervisor berated him and grabbed his right arm while accusing him of missing the meeting and taking an unauthorized break.
Brent Roos, the accused supervisor, could not be reached for comment. Dawn Weiss, another supervisor at the scene, refused to comment.
Roos and Weiss accused Belachew of missing the mandatory meeting Saturday. Belachew said he was there, but didn’t sign in.
“It doesn’t mean that if I didn’t sign in, I wasn’t there,” Belachew said. He said he had a flier from the meeting to prove he attended.
The police report stated that Roos and Weiss confronted Belachew to give him a “coaching,” or warning, for missing the meeting and taking an unauthorized break.
Belachew said he was calling security to lock an open door when his supervisors accused him of taking the break. He also said the two didn’t take the flier as proof he was at the meeting.
“Instead of checking, they yelled at me,” he said. “I don’t have to sit next to my supervisor at the meeting.”
Belachew said Roos continued to yell at him with Weiss’ support.
“There was no excuse for him to raise his voice,” Belachew said. “I kept telling him to wait for my union (representative) to come.”
As he continued to plead his case, Roos allegedly grabbed his right arm.
“I jumped back and was nervous,” Belachew said. “I felt threatened and scared.”
And Belachew said this is not the first time he has been treated in this manner. He claims a few years ago a different supervisor lost his temper when Belachew refused to sign a form before reading it.
In other police news:
ù University Police cited three juveniles after they allegedly attempted to steal bikes Thursday in front of Frontier Hall.
Police reports state the three boys milled around the racks near the hall pulling on bikes for at least 10 minutes. Then they saw a student approaching them.
“One asked me, ‘Have you seen a key?’ and I said ‘no,'” said Kelly Hawn, a College of Liberal Arts freshman. “Then he said, ‘I’ll just have to break the lock.'”
Hawn said she thought the boy was just trying to give himself an alibi. But then he tried what he promised to do.
“They were trying to break the lock,” she said. “They were yanking very hard.”
The juveniles did not make off with any bikes. Thus, police were able only to cite them for lurking with the intent to commit a crime.
The boys were detained at police headquarters until their parents could pick them up.
Police also confiscated two bikes the boys were riding and a portable CD player. A computer check to see if the bikes were stolen came up empty, police reports said.
But the juveniles could not provide proof of ownership for any of the items. Police are holding the items until proof is shown.
ù University Police cited four students in Comstock Hall for a disruptive party early Sunday morning.
According to police reports, one of the four was also charged for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process after he refused to go to Hennepin County Jail.
Police reports said resident assistant Annie Garofalo asked an officer to accompany her on rounds through the hall because many of the residents were acting loud and unruly.
When they came upon the room of University students Daniel Voorhoeve and Dennis Van Liempd, they asked them to turn down a stereo.
“I said something like, ‘You’re right, it’s 2:15 (a.m.), we are being too loud,” Voorhoeve said. He added that it was only one minute after they had switched on the stereo.
Garofalo and the officer left, only to return a few minutes later. According to the police report, the stereo was turned up again a few minutes later, though Voorhoeve contends it was not.
“It’s kind of strange,” he said. “They didn’t give us five to 10 minutes to calm down and shut up.”
He claims it was the four male voices talking in the room that brought Garofalo and the officer back.
The police report said when they returned, the four began arguing with Garofalo and officer Patricia Gjerde.
“It was pretty disrespectful,” Garofalo said.
The report also said student Damien Genoud, 23, became loud and belligerent. Gjerde told him he was going to jail, but he refused and tried to run through the door. Detective Brad Herberg stood in the way.
Genoud said he didn’t try to run out of the room. He added he didn’t understand why they came back to the room a second time.
“We didn’t make any noise after that,” he said.
Genoud spent 16 hours in jail and is due in court Thursday. He faces up to a $700 fine and 90 days in jail. But Genoud said he is going back to his home country of Switzerland June 9.