Threatening call leads to heightened security at Inamori Center

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Those visiting the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence located in TVUC currently find themselves facing a sign outside its doors stating that all visitors must display a Case Western Reserve University ID to enter.

The sign was put up on CWRU Police Department’s guidance after a man made a belligerent phone call to President Barbara R. Snyder’s office in October in an attempt to collect his $75 portion of a prize from a group essay contest that the Center held in 2011, which his group had won.

The center’s financial records show that the prize money was paid out, but the man insisted that it wasn’t. The contest had been run by a post-doctorate who has since left the center.

He also believes he deserved $250, the full amount the winning group received, instead of the $75 each individual in a group would have received.

The office administrator that spoke with the man became concerned and called security. The incident occurred early in October, but the man had previously been in contact with the center about the prize money.

The center’s director, Shannon French, who was not part of center at the time of the contest, received an angry email from the man in the summer of 2014.

“I would have been happy to pay that, if it would have appeased him, frankly,” she said.

He then met with the current Student Office Assistant, Marie Bartinelli, at the center later that summer.

The CWRU Police Department was also notified of the emails, and found that the man had suffered from mental illness and had been homeless previously. The department also found angry messages from him online, with references to violence and an anti-female theme.

French was advised to not remain in contact with him. Despite never actually meeting with her, she believes he holds her personally responsible for the allegedly unpaid prize money. In the phone call earlier this semester to President Snyder’s office, he mentioned her by name. The man had also been found attempting to enter campus again later in the summer of 2014. He was removed and told that he was not allowed on campus.

“My prime focus, obviously, is security,” said French. “We have all these people who work here, we have classes in here and also generally the building has so many people and we don’t want to have an individual who might actually be a threat.”

According to French, the man attended Cleveland–Marshall College of Law. It is unknown if he graduated.

The security desk at TVUC and all security officers have been provided a picture of the man.

French does not know how long visitors at the center will have to show their CWRU IDs before entering. She plans to contact CWRU PD before making any changes and has been working closely with Sergeant Paul Owens.

The CWRU Police Department did not provide a comment.

“My heart goes out to [the man who had called Snyder’s office],” said French. “This is clearly someone with mental health issues who is not getting the care he needs.”