A Peoria resident has been banned from the Knox College campus after he allegedly threatened a female Knox student over the phone on Jan. 29 by telling her that he would bring a gun onto campus and cause her harm. The student in question told the other students that she lived with about the call and then decided to inform Campus Safety.
According to the Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf, Campus Safety reported to the area, and after interviewing some of the members involved, decided that the threat was valid. Campus Safety personnel were placed in the on-campus location of the threatened student to stand by until the matter could be resolved, and the Galesburg Police Department was contacted.
GPD and Campus Safety talked to the members involved at the on-campus location and discussed the matter. Although the information was somewhat different than what was explained originally, “We felt that the threat was valid and there was a desire to try to have a face-to-face intervention with the person,” states Schlaf.
Peoria Police Department and the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office were then involved, and they located the man at his home in Peoria. Schlaf says that through a series of checks at his home, they warned him against making any comments that could be seen as threatening.
Although Nelson denied making the threat, he acknowledged the warning. Peoria Police Department believes that he possessed no weapons or intent to carry out the threat.
Schlaf decided that even though there was not an overt threat from the man, the campus should be alerted of the threat made and Nelson should be banned from campus. If Nelson violates the ban and shows up on campus, he will be subjected to immediate arrest by the GPD.
“It’s been some time since we’ve done a ban, but there are currently twenty people on the banned list and that has been in existence since 2007,” says Schlaf. Everyone on the list is subject to arrest if they come to campus.
Schlaf says that he was impressed by the action of the students who decided to report the matter. It is critical for the safety of campus that people report incidents that happen without hesitation, and in this case, Knox students “did the right thing by contacting Campus Safety in a timely manner.”