Woman charged in scuffle with U music professors

Tim Sturrock

The city attorney’s office charged a woman with fifth degree misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct Tuesday after she allegedly attacked two professors at Ferguson Hall.

Kaarina Khayya Mindaly, 43, was attending a master class conducted by Janos Starker, a world-renowned Hungarian cellist, when she began taking flash photography, said Sally O’Reilly, a violin professor.

O’Reilly said when she asked her to stop, Mindaly became agitated and began yelling profanities. Eventually, professors convinced her to leave.

Leora Effinger, an office specialist at the School of Music, said visiting professor John Gilbert left Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall, and Mindaly followed.

“John Gilbert approached my desk and told me to call security and this woman came running out into the lobby asking him for his name and cussing up a storm, so I called police,” Effinger said.

Mindaly continued yelling at Gilbert when O’Reilly exited the recital hall and told Effinger to call the police.

“I told (O’Reilly) I was on the phone with dispatch and at that moment the woman comes up behind her with a full arm swing and slapped at the base of her skull,” Effinger said.

When Gilbert tried to stop the woman from leaving by taking her camera, Mindaly attacked him, ripping his shirt, Effinger said. Other members of the staff managed to detain her until the police arrived and made the arrest.

O’Reilly said she feels OK after the incident and that her heart goes out to Mindaly, whom O’Reilly believes is mentally ill.

In other police news

One shrub is dead and another in critical condition after thieves removed the two plants from the University YMCA and disposed of them at a nearby construction site.

The first shrub, noticed missing several weeks ago, had been neatly dug out and taken, said Sara Testen, YMCA program director. Staff found the $80 shrub the next day near a construction site on Fourth Street.

Last Friday, thieves pilfered the front yard of the YMCA and discarded the shrub near the same site in broad daylight.

“When I came to work last Friday, everything looked normal in the front of the building,” Testen said. “When I left around noon, another shrub had been taken.”

Mark Hasse, a YMCA program manager, said the situation is frustrating. “Why would anyone run around pulling out shrubs? They must be idiots,” he said.

Hasse said vandalism has been a problem in the past year. “We’ve had a light broken and two trees broken in half that we’ve had to replace,” Hasse said.

At the YMCA’s former location a few blocks away, the University paid for vandalism-caused repairs. But now that it no longer leases from the University, the YMCA foots the bill.