Do not Cross: Update on Crime and Safety at Mercer


The discrepancy used in creating the FBI table were from all university/college law enforcement agencies submitting 12 months of complete offense data for 2014. Data Division on Mercer report explained by Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins

Nicholas Wooten, Managing Editor

On Oct. 1 — the last day allowed by federal law — Mercer University Police posted their annual Crime Awareness and Campus Security report to their website in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

The document includes information from 2012, 2013, and the newly added data from 2014. The report separates statistics into three categories: criminal offenses, hate crimes and arrests, and referrals for disciplinary action.

Criminal offenses encompass criminal homicide — murder, non-negligent manslaughter, and  negligent manslaughter — and either forcible or non-forcible sex offenses. Other offenses include robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Hate crimes cover all offenses listed above and any incidents of larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property that were motivated by another’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, language, nationality,religion  or sexual orientation.

Referrals for disciplinary action with firearms, alcohol and drugs.

The document does not list the 54 incidents of larceny-theft that Mercer Police reported to the FBI during 2014. The Clery Act does not require universities to publish this information in their reports. But nothing prevents them from doing so.

“We think it should be [included],” said Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins.

The full report was sent out to all university e-mail addresses.


Mercer Police has been busy while most of us were away during the summer and well into the start of the fall semester. From July 28 to Sept. 30, there were 14 criminal incidents on file. There have been four thefts by taking, four entering autos, one stolen vehicle, one theft of auto, two counts of criminal trespassing, one count of making terroristic threats, one count of burglary and one sexual assault.

A student fell asleep while hammocking in Tattnall Square Park on Sept. 21 and had  black Under Armour string bag stolen during a snooze. The perpetrator made off with two car keys, a room key, a vape pen and the student’s license. The bag and its contents were valued at $250.

A student’s 2004 Ford Ranger had its windows smashed out and $5 of change stolen from the console. A witness noticed the damaged and reported it at 4:19 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Reporting officer Gus Moore approached a young “black male subject walking across the [baseball] parking lot acting suspicious” on Sept.17, according to his report. Moore believed the person had trespassing warnings against him. Upon getting a closer look and following a short conversation, the officer identified him as a known burglar currently on probation. The young man lied about his identity, but eventually he told the officer who he really was. The young man was then escorted to the Mercer Police station. While there, the trespasser made threats against police officers in general. The young man was taken to Jackson Juvenile Center and transported to the Youth Development Center at Riggins Mill Road in Macon.

A student, Nathan Fall, reported his 1993 single cab red Chevy stolen.  The report dates the incident Sept. 20, and the truck is still missing. Falls got the truck as a gift. It originally belonged to his grandfather, who died of cancer when Falls was 6. The truck ended up in the hands of his great-grandfather until Falls turned 15. “I’d really like it back,” he said. “It was one of the few things I had left of his. The [insurance] check won’t replace what it meant to me.” The truck features a unique, single headlight front. The front plate reads “LIKEAROCK.”

Mercer Police were notified on Aug. 31 that a student was sexually assaulted twice Feb. 26 and 27 while on campus. Title IX coordinator Melissa Mashburn provided the department with a written statement. Investigators conducted interviews Sept. 3 and 22 to confirm the sequence of events. The case is ongoing.