KINGSTON, RI -- Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 -- URI police arrested David Galatzer-Levy of Evanston, Ill., on Thursday, Oct. 23 on charges of seventh-degree arson, the sixth arrest and the third arson arrest related to student riots on the Kingston campus the week of Oct. 6. Galatzer-Levy, a 20-year-old freshman transfer student was arraigned in Fourth District Court later that morning. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance. A pre-trial hearing for Galatzer-Levy is set for Nov. 5.
URI police are continuing their investigation into the student riots, with a particular focus on the events of Wednesday, Oct. 8. Three other students have already been arraigned on charges of disorderly conduct, and two students are scheduled for arraignment on seventh degree arson charges Nov. 4.
A group of about 300 students formed after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics on Monday, Oct. 6. There was limited property damage, with several Dumpster fires lit that evening. There were no arrests and no injuries.
On Wednesday, Oct. 8, following the Boston Red Sox win over the New York Yankees, a larger group estimated to be nearly 1,000 students roamed the campus, lit Dumpster fires, and set a fire on the URI Quadrangle. A small group of students overturned the car of a residence hall director. Three students were arrested on disorderly conduct charges and three students were injured, taken to South County Hospital, treated, and released. Similar student mayhem was reported during the week at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Dartmouth campuses, the University of New Hampshire, and Plymouth State University and Keene State College in New Hampshire.
At the time, URI President Robert L. Carothers stated that, "This cannot continue." He informed the student body that criminal and disciplinary action would follow.
Carothers met with University officials and student leaders the following morning on Oct. 9 and set into motion a plan to increase security patrols with URI police, local police, and state police officers on campus. A group of 100 to120 student leaders volunteered as "peace officers" and patrolled the campus alongside the police force following each subsequent baseball game. No other incidents took place on the Kingston Campus.
As a result of the mayhem, one of the benches located near Edwards Hall on the URI Quadrangle was tossed into a bonfire on the Quad and destroyed. The URI Student Senate voted to pay $2,500 to replace the bench.
"What annoyed me was the idiocy that took place, " said Evan Duggan-Lever, of Warwick, one of the longest serving members of the Senate. "People were hurt and property was destroyed. The fact that someone was willing to burn a memorial a bench just infuriated me." He wrote the (student) legislation seeking the payment for the bench. This will "allow the bench to stand as a testimony to the standard of honor and maturity, (that) we as students hold ourselves and each other to," he added.