Volume 92, Issue 19

Tuesday, October 6, 1998

no funny business


Homecoming stadium prank loses its humour

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

What was supposed to be a traditional prank turned into a near-death experience for two students early Friday morning.

A group of engineering students had planned to spray paint their graduating year on the football field of J.W. Little Stadium before the Homecoming game, said Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department.

"The engineers were only in the planning stages when a white vehicle struck one individual, then accelerated again and almost struck another one," McGowan said.

"We had heard a rumour that first-year football players were going to take shifts watching the field," said Chris Brown, a first-year engineering student at Western and one of the students who was barely missed by the car.

According to Brown, the group had been planning the prank for a week and when voices were heard within the stadium, he and a fellow engineer decided to investigate. "Ian [Munroe] and I went to see if we could figure out who was in the stadium," he said.

"It all happened really fast," Brown said. "All I saw were headlights."

While running towards the wooded area by the parking lot Brown remembers hearing a loud thud. "I thought the car had hit one of the parked cars," he said. "Then I saw Ian on the hood of the car sliding off onto the ground – I thought it was an accident. I took a step forward and realized the car was still coming."

When the car had passed him, Brown ran over to Munroe, who had broken his leg.

Phil Metcalf, a first-year engineering student and eyewitness to the event, said he was unsure of who was driving the car because the windows were tinted. "I could hear the car coming – the engine was just going nuts," he said.

Larry Haylor, head coach of the Mustang football team, said he was unaware of what had happened that night and is doubtful that any football player is responsible. "I left the stadium at 10 p.m.. Pretty much everyone was gone by then," he said.

Cam Twible, a third-year political science student at Western and defensive back for the Mustangs, was also doubtful football players were behind the accident. "It's a terrible thing, but why would they try to pin it on us – that's unfair," he said.

"This is very serious – a hit and run," McGowan said. "Yes, it was wrong for the guys to be playing the prank, but there are other ways to stop this kind of behaviour."

Although the police do not have any suspects in custody, McGowan believes those responsible for the crime may face criminal charges for failure report and stop at the scene of an accident. "Whoever has done this is most definitely in trouble – this is a criminal offence," she said.

McGowan believes the days of prank pulling may soon have to come to an end. "It's gotten out of hand," she said. "Maybe there needs to be a stop to this. It creates conflict and this accident could have been much worse."

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998