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Mahwah Police Department News Release on Deer Incident at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 1, 2015

MAHWAH POLICE DEPARTMENT

221 FRANKLIN TURNPIKE, MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY 07430
JAMES N. BATELLI, CHIEF OF POLICE

 

Media Release

Date:                           April 1, 2015

 

Contact Person:       James N. Batelli
Chief of Police
201-831-2000

 

The Mahwah Police were contacted early Wednesday morning by North Jersey Media Group regarding an incident on the grounds of Ramapo College where members of the baseball team had allegedly “killed a deer by beating it”. According to a representative of North Jersey Media Group the information came to them from an anonymous tip they received.

Contact was made with Ramapo College Public Safety and Ramapo College Administrative officials and they stated that Public Safety had investigated an incident involving members of the baseball team who had chased a deer near the Bradley Center but that the deer was not in any way injured. College officials immediately condemned the act and sent a message via social media to all their students warning of strict penalties for such action and conduct by their students.

As a result of the anonymous complaint made to North Jersey Media a Mahwah Police Investigator was assigned to look into the matter. Injuring or killing a deer in the manner alleged would have constituted a crime in the State of New Jersey under the animal cruelty laws. It was determined that at approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 23rd a staff member reported observing members of the Ramapo College baseball team (identified by the shirts they were wearing ) leave the Bradley Center facility and six of them began to chase a deer that was in the grassy knoll adjacent to the Center. The staff member reported that at least one student wielded a large stick above his head. The staff member reported the incident to College officials including Public Safety who initiated the investigation.

Interviews that were conducted by members of Public Safety confirmed that several student athletes from the baseball team had chased a deer after they left the Bradley Center and at least one of the students had picked up a stick and chased it up a hill. A review of video surveillance tapes confirmed that several athletes ran up the hill in different directions but the video did not show a deer in any of the frames. Further investigation revealed the students were in the area to run wind sprints up the hill when two deer were observed on the border of a wooded area. The student who picked up the sticks claimed that he never got closer than 20 to 30 feet from the deer and he never intended to harm the deer but was only trying to scare them away into the woods and prevent them from going into the street. Numerous students were interviewed by Public Safety including those who were just observers and all the stories were similar in nature stating that while the deer was chased it was not injured and none of the students got close to the deer.

While representatives of North Jersey Media would not disclose the identity of who provided the anonymous tip, they were given a tip hot line and e-mail address at Mahwah Police Headquarters and asked to forward that information to the tipster asking them to contact our agency. No contact has been made with the tipster at the time of this press release.

Absent additional information this investigation is being returned to officials of Ramapo College. It is our understanding that the College considers this a serious conduct matter and disciplinary action has already been taken against the students involved.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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