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Reminiscient of last year, another off-campus death

Despite absence of Spring Fling, arrests and tragedy remain.

The death of a 21-year-old man who fell from a fifth-story window at Kardon/Atlantic Apartments last weekend is the third such incident to occur on Main Campus in a year and served as a black mark on a weekend that also included numerous arrests outside of a block party held in the absence of Spring Fling. 

Police say the man, whose name has not been released, was visiting friends at the apartment building on 10th Street and was alone in their room at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, April 13, when he fell to his death.

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office had not released a toxicology or autopsy report as of Monday, April 14.

Spring Fling was canceled last year in the wake of the death of 19-year-old West Chester University student Ali Fausnaught, who fell from the roof of an off-campus row house where she was visiting friends at a house party.

President Theobald said the woman’s death was not the reason for Spring Fling’s cancelation, but rather the pervasive drinking and skipping of class that was associated with the university tradition.

Through a university spokesman, President Theobald declined to comment on last weekend’s incident.

Last September, 21-year-old Landon Nuss died after falling in a stairwell at Kardon/Atlantic Apartments. The death was ruled an accident and police said Nuss had been smoking in the stairwell.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 12, the university hosted the Cherry On Experience, an outdoor spring festival on the Geasey Field Complex that was developed as an alternative to Spring Fling. Security officers were posted at the entrances to the event to watch for student drinking.

An alternative block party hosted by students on the 2300 block of Park Avenue was unregulated by the university and drew hundreds of students to the block, where a DJ stood over crowds of students openly drinking and smoking marijuana.

Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said campus and Philadelphia police made a total of 46 arrests and citations during the weekend, when CSS partnered with Philadelphia police and the Liquor Control Board to monitor the area around campus in preparation for Saturday’s festivities. Of those cited, 31 were not Temple students, Leone said.

Students said CSS had tried to revoke the permit they had obtained to host the event. Leone said he spoke with 22nd Precinct police and determined the event needed a festival permit requiring organizers to pay for added police security.

“The permit they asked for was a block party, and honestly what that was was not a block party. That was a festival,” Leone said. “The main thing is we don’t want people to be a victim going to or coming back from a party.”

While the majority of incidents from Saturday involved public intoxication and underage consumption, there were additional reports of fighting and public nuisances.

James McElanie, 18 from Upper Darby, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after police responded to several reports of people being punched.

The man who fell to his death at Kardon/Atlantic Apartments was found by Allied Barton bicycle officers, who called fire rescue to have the man transported to Temple University Hospital, Leone said.

Leone said the death does not appear to be suspicious at this time and is under investigation.

An official at PMC Property Group, the owner of Kardon/Atlantic Apartments, did not return requests for comment on Monday.

John Moritz can be reached at john.moritz@temple.edu or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU.  

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    One comment on “Reminiscient of last year, another off-campus death

    1. John on said:

      Natural selection at its finest

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