Man arrested for trespassing on Quinnipiac’s main campus

New Haven resident attempted to sell students bagged energy powder in cafeteria

By Jess Ruderman

Quinnipiac Public Safety stands by the suspicious individual in the cafeteria.  (Photo: Cait Fish)

Quinnipiac Public Safety stands by the suspicious individual in the cafeteria.

(Photo: Cait Fish)

A suspicious white male caused a scene in the Mount Carmel Campus cafeteria after attempting to sell bagged white powder to Quinnipiac students Tuesday, April 16. Matthew Allen, a New Haven resident according to his Facebook profile, was surrounded by Public Safety officers in a booth in the cafeteria where they confiscated and searched his bag, witnesses said.

Quinnipiac Public Safety confirmed that the powder was not an illegal substance, but rather an energy powder. Allen was arrested and issued a no trespass order by Quinnipiac that he signed.

“It wasn’t drugs,” Public Safety Officer Lieutenant Don Distefano said. “It was a substance called Bang Energy Powder that he put in different bags and tried selling at $80 a bag.”

A member of the Hamden Police Department Records Division said that the last he heard, the substance was not illegal, and a police report is currently being filed and will be available in five to seven days.

Allen posted Tuesday morning stating his intentions to head to QU and ‘pitch’ to students the substance.

“Getting banged up before heading to Quinnipiac College to "pitch" and con gullible coeds into sleeping with me,” the post stated.

Allen then followed his initial post hours later with visuals of the powder and of himself sitting in the cafeteria.

“If anyone at Quinnipiac University wants to try Bang Energy Powder for free I’m here waiting in the dining hall while everyone ignores me except the coeds in their skintight yoga pants who keep eyefucking me,” the post read. “I’m not actually looking for sex but I am looking to make money off a high quality product I invested in. I’m charging Yale students $80/bag not everyone, fwiw.”

The campus breach comes only months after Uber driver Sean Brozek was arrested with stalking, threatening and trespassing onto the Mount Carmel campus for following a female student to her dorm. At that time, the Public Safety Department issued a ‘timely warning’ regarding the ongoing investigation to students via the university alert system, forwarding students to their MyQ account for more information.

Distefano explained that this was not the case this time around because Allen did not serve the same kind of threat that Brozek had.

“Based on a person's behavior we do a threat assessment and we determine, ‘Is this an isolated instance we have at this moment or is it a threat to the community?’” Distefano said. “The threat assessment [in this case] was very low. He wasn’t targeting anyone specific, was in one place, wasn’t violent, was very cooperative and clearly had mental health issues.”

The Quinnipiac Annual Security and Fire Safety Report breaks down the specifics of why a ‘timely warning,’ like the one issued last November, would be issued to students, faculty and anyone subscribed to the university alert system.

“The university does not condone actions that are detrimental to the school’s resources, facilities, community members or image, or those that violate applicable laws or school policy,” according to the 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report of the Mount Carmel and York Hill campuses. “A ‘timely warning’ will be issued in the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that in the judgment of the chief of public safety or his/her designee, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat criminal in nature.”

In Brozek’s case, Public Safety was unaware of the situation until after Brozek had entered campus, followed a specified student to her dorm, harassed her and then left without notice. Allen, on the other hand, was sighted and reported immediately by officers who responded with Hamden PD to remove and arrest him in a timely manner that, once detained, was no longer deemed a threat to the Quinnipiac community by Public Safety.

“The past instance he was focusing on a specific student, penetrated the campus in the form of a dorm and left before we were notified,” Distefano said. “This person yesterday wasn’t.”

In wake of these incidents, students have begun to question their safety at the university when it comes to intruders.

“It was odd because there was this older looking man sitting in the cafe, surrounded by public safety officers,” junior biology major Matthew Williams said. “Whether it ended up being cocaine or an energy powder doesn’t matter to me. What was concerning is the fact that this man easily obtained access to our campus, despite the fact that we have Public Safety.”

Allen has been contacted, but has yet to respond with a comment.

Stay with HQ Press for further updates and details as they become available.