After months of chasing dead ends, police investigating a recent wave of violent attacks at the University of Washington have finally broken the case wide open.
Following a tip from an anonymous student, police staged an elaborate three-week stakeout operation that led to the break in the case, and the arrest of seven individuals. Unconfirmed reports have confirmed that those arrested were in fact tenured faculty at the university.
Using a VW van camouflaged with “Free Tibet” and “US out of Iraq” bumper stickers as a base of operations for the surveillance, officers wired with hidden audio and video devices would roam the campus posing as students, hoping to either witness or fall victim to the violence that had been plaguing the campus.
Reneé Witt, a representative with the Seattle Police Department described the night they cracked the case:
“Sergeant Stuart Johnson was out on his usual nightly patrol, disguised as a freshman women’s studies major, when he witnessed a suspicious group of individuals in their 50s and 60s entering Bagley Hall at approximately 3:00 AM. Officers in the van verified for Sergeant Johnson that there was in fact not a continuing-education chemistry class scheduled at that time, confirming Sergeant Johnson’s suspicions. Shortly after 3:45 AM, the individuals belligerently staggered out of the building, disguised in what appeared to be stocking caps, parachute pants, and Richard Nixon masks. Sergeant Johnson proceeded to follow these individuals as they carried out a series of two dozen assaults over the next three hours. After the twenty-seventh assault at approximately 7:00 AM, a SWAT team was called in to make the arrests.”
The names of the professors arrested in the sting were not released to the media, since they have not yet been charged with a crime. However, speculation on campus has confirmed the involvement of math professor Dr. Gene Spitzer, humanities professor Mark Shornberg, and sociology professor Dr. Susan Pasero. None of these professors could be reached for comment on their heinous crimes.
Reactions among the student body were a mix of relief, shock, and hunger. “I’m just glad it’s finally over, and we can get back to our self-centered lives,” exclaimed sophomore basket-weaving major Jorge Smith. Senior Karen Buckett explained “I can’t believe that people whose classes we sleep through would betray us like that.” “Wow, that’s rough,” freshman Mike Mikerson proclaimed, “could anybody else go for a sandwich right now?”
Charges against the professors could range from assault with a deadly weapon to failure to pirouette on command. Officers have said that they will continue to keep a close eye on the campus, to deter any potential copycat assaults in the coming weeks.