KIRKWOOD, MO. (KPLR) – On Friday, top St. Louis Community College administrators admitted their wrongdoings when handling an attack last week on the Meramec campus.
During this incident, 19 year-old Blythe Grupe was in the bathroom when she was allegedly attacked by a fellow student, who began to choke her and tried to kill her. She screamed, and a nearby instructor, along with campus police, rushed to help her.
The attack happened Thursday. However, it took until Tuesday for 18 year-old Jevon Mallory to be arrested, even though police initially apprehended him at the scene. STLCC Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey says campus police were simply following the letter of the law: “They made sure that they were doing everything that they were required to do by law, and that resulted in his release.”
After the trauma the victim endured, her father, Robert Grupe, feels it just wasn’t logical to let him go. He explains, “You need to step back from processes, not just be bureaucratic, but evaluate whether that’s the right thing to be doing.”
Another problem was a lack of communication. After Mallory was let go, police banned him from campus. But the chancellor admits Mallory was later summoned to campus by the Vice President of Student Affairs for a meeting. Dorsey says, “That was one of the things we talked about, how we can do that better and make sure that doesn’t occur in that way.”
Now, Mallory is in custody with a $10,000 bond. He is charged with Assault on School Property, which Grupe feels isn’t harsh enough. In the police report, Mallory expressed his intent to murder. Grupe says, “He confessed that this was a premeditated attempt to kill.”
It’s taking time for Blythe Grupe to return to normal life, but in the meantime, her father and school officials hope this will be a learning experience for the school.
Dorsey apologizes, “We didn’t do everything right. So I am humbly sorry that this occurred.”
She says the school will now work to improve its safety procedures, particularly when it comes to campus alerts. Neither students nor faculty were notified of the attack when it occurred.