How to act when innocent suspect?


#1

I need some advice. I go to a Catholic university (which shall remain nameless), and although the place is fileld with many responsible and very pious students, there are some who unfortunately are still a little immature in their actions. Within the past few days, one student in my dorm hall did something which was completely innapropriate and for which everyone in my dorm hall is now suffering.

According to what I have heard from my fellow hall-mates, someone who lives in our hall vigilantily took down a small poster from the bulletin board (I understand the poster concerned a charismatic Catholic event) and then rashly put a note on the RA’s door which basically said, “I don’t want no more of this Protestant $&#@.”

The RA naturally was incensed (and rightly so) by this action, and he has punished the entire hall by closing down the hall lounge and by no longer allowing visitors on the hall, at least until the person who did the action confesses. The problem, however, is that nobody seems to know who did the act. Nobody saw the person who did it, and the person who did it is not coming forth. What bothers me even more, however, is that there are many individuals on my floor who are Eastern Catholic-leaning or conservative/traditional-Catholic-leaning. There are perhaps six people in my hall (including myself, since I’m thinking about changing rites to Byzantine Catholic) who are like this. And what is quite unfortunate is that, since we are not “charismatic” in our spirituality, and even tend to shy away from this spirituality at times, we are natural targets, since many other people in the hallway are “charismatic”-leaning and therefore would not have committed the act.

I just fear that someone might think that I may have done this act, especially since I am shy and therefore less knowable to people who don’t personally know me. I know that I was not the individual who did the crime (and I know that there is no way I can prove to people here on the forums or even to my RA that I did not do it) but I’m just wondering how one best acts when one is an innocent “suspect,” especially if interrogated.

I appreciate any advice on the matter. Thank you.


#2

[quote=Madaglan]I just fear that someone might think that I may have done this act, especially since I am shy and therefore less knowable to people who don’t personally know me. I know that I was not the individual who did the crime (and I know that there is no way I can prove to people here on the forums or even to my RA that I did not do it) but I’m just wondering how one best acts when one is a innocent “suspect,” especially if interrogated.
[/quote]

If I were the RA, the last person I would suspect would be someone I’d characterize as “shy”. That was the prose of someone who is fairly in-your-face about their opinions.

So do as you would want someone to do if you were the RA. Cooperate. Answer their questions, if you are interrogated (which I doubt you will be). Tell the RA that not only do you not know who did it, but from what you can tell the scuttle-butt is that no one does. The perp isn’t bragging, and no one voicing approval. Tell them also that a prolonged punishment of the whole dorm for the rash actions of one is not going to be taken well for very long. With any luck, they’ll soon come to the conclusion that this is an isolated incident that, having been judged intolerable by essentially everyone, is not likely to be repeated.


#3

I don’t think there is much you can do. Just answer any questions openly and honestly. If you hear a conversation going on about the incident, make sure that people know you disapprove of such immature actions. And, as BLB said, this was not done by a ‘shy’ person such as yourself. You are probably not on the short list of ‘suspects’. Most likely it was a very traditional visitor to your hall who is irritated by all the charismatics who reside in that area. Some people just can’t tolerate things they misunderstand. I am sure your RA is level-headed enough to know when “enough is enough”. Offer up your suffering for the person who committed the act. Who knows, they just might confess!


#4

You just go about your business. Treat everyone with kindness and love. And remember, the early martyrs of the Church were accused of all kinds of things and then got thrown into arenas to be chewed up by wild beasts. You just have to live with an angry RA…so hang in there, sweetie, and we’ll all pray for you.


#5

Just be open and tell all the truth and nothing but the truth.


#6

Why does everyone assume that someone on your floor/hall did this? Perhaps someone from another part of the dorm is responsible. If no one saw the perpetrator, than how does anyone know who’s responsible.

What if no one confesses? Is are all the residents in your section on “time out” forever? Your RAs actions seem a little heavy handed to me. If you or others have a hard time with what the RA is doing, talk to whoever is in charge of your dorm. When I was in college (at a Catholic women’s school) the RAs had absolutely no authority to discipline the students whatsoever beyond a “turn your stereo down” type of remark. I would really talk to some one higher up on the chain of command about this. It just seems wrong to me that everyone is being punished for a fairly minor offense.


#7

Originally Quoted by cupofkindness:

Why does everyone assume that someone on your floor/hall did this? Perhaps someone from another part of the dorm is responsible. If no one saw the perpetrator, than how does anyone know who’s responsible.

Yeah, there are a few reasons. For one, the dorm is separated from most of the other dorms by a considerable distance (and is even technically off-campus), and mostly only those students who live in the dorm go inside it. I suppose that it’s just assumed that someone from inside our dorm did it, since it is unlikely for a random person to break into the dorm and do it.


#8

I would talk to your RD about this - it does seem rather outrageous - it also shocks me that the RA herself would have the right to do so - at my college the RA’s could write you up - but it had to go through the RD and I think even up to the Assistant Dean of Students for anything to happen discipline wise…

And I agree with those earlier who wondered why it was assumed it was someone on your hall - could it not have been someone on another hall in your dorm if the dorm is so secure that no one from outside the dorm could have done it?


#9

Post a reply on your communication board that you did not do it and would like to know who did. This clears you and lets everyone know you disapprove of the action. But it is important if you feel that “feeling” to state: “I did not do this.” It helps to clear your head. :thumbsup:

This is a military way of punishment, I’m not sure I approve of this being used in your dorm-after all, it is your home away from home, you aren’t in the military. You could put that in the statement too.


#10

[quote=Madaglan] but I’m just wondering how one best acts when one is an innocent “suspect,” especially if interrogated.

I appreciate any advice on the matter. Thank you.
[/quote]

Ok,

Just let them know that you dont have time for kiddie games and your not paying them to interrogate you. Ask them if your under arrest, if they say no then leave :slight_smile: But in all seriousness I would not be to concerned about them suspecting you. Just tell the truth and dont let them door mat you.

-D


#11

[quote=Madaglan]I need some advice. I go to a Catholic university (which shall remain nameless), and although the place is fileld with many responsible and very pious students, there are some who unfortunately are still a little immature in their actions. Within the past few days, one student in my dorm hall did something which was completely innapropriate and for which everyone in my dorm hall is now suffering.

According to what I have heard from my fellow hall-mates, someone who lives in our hall vigilantily took down a small poster from the bulletin board (I understand the poster concerned a charismatic Catholic event) and then rashly put a note on the RA’s door which basically said, “I don’t want no more of this Protestant $&#@.”

The RA naturally was incensed (and rightly so) by this action, and he has punished the entire hall by closing down the hall lounge and by no longer allowing visitors on the hall, at least until the person who did the action confesses. The problem, however, is that nobody seems to know who did the act. Nobody saw the person who did it, and the person who did it is not coming forth. What bothers me even more, however, is that there are many individuals on my floor who are Eastern Catholic-leaning or conservative/traditional-Catholic-leaning. There are perhaps six people in my hall (including myself, since I’m thinking about changing rites to Byzantine Catholic) who are like this. And what is quite unfortunate is that, since we are not “charismatic” in our spirituality, and even tend to shy away from this spirituality at times, we are natural targets, since many other people in the hallway are “charismatic”-leaning and therefore would not have committed the act.

I just fear that someone might think that I may have done this act, especially since I am shy and therefore less knowable to people who don’t personally know me. I know that I was not the individual who did the crime (and I know that there is no way I can prove to people here on the forums or even to my RA that I did not do it) but I’m just wondering how one best acts when one is an innocent “suspect,” especially if interrogated.

I appreciate any advice on the matter. Thank you.
[/quote]

It could very well be someone who doesn’t live there!!!
Try not to let it worry you, just be yourself and be honest and if people want to be stupid by blaming you, all you can do is take courage and comfort, knowing you are right. If you look worried about this you will look guilty, so try not to worry. I can’t believe there would be this much drama on a men’s floor… it sounds more like something that would have happened in my college dorm!


#12

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