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River Falls man faces charges for May Hall break-in

April 10, 2008

A pre-trial conference has been set for a River Falls man who allegedly entered May Hall without permission on March 12.

  Aaron J Braasch, 32, faces charges of illegal entry into a building and felony bail-jumping. The hearing will take place on April 21.

  According to a police report, Braasch entered May Hall as a female resident was stepping outside for a cigarette at 4 a.m. She watched him come back to the door several times to poke his head out and look around, the report said.

  Confused, the student asked what he was doing. He told her he was an employee of the University.

  The concerned student asked to see his University ID but he told her he didn’t have one, that the University “likes to keep these things low key.”

  Braasch quickly left the scene as the resident went back inside and told her RA what had happened.

  Officers from Public Safety and the River Falls Police Department responded to the call. According to police reports, the suspect was spotted near Rodli Commons and a chase ensued. Once officers were finally able to catch up with Braasch, he admitted to entering the building, but said that he had been let in by a student to use the bathroom.   

  Upon searching his belongings, officers found an unwrapped condom in his pocket, the report said.

Braasch was taken to the Pierce County jailhouse, where he registered a .08 blood-alcohol level. He was released the next day on $450 bail.

  In addition to the new charges, Braasch is already out on bail for charges of disorderly conduct and felony stalking.  He did not return phone calls made to his River Falls home.

  Public safety director Richard Trende said the facts of the March 12 incident were fairly clear-cut.

  “There was no reason for him to be there, and he knew that,” Trende said.

  He explained that residence halls require more security than other buildings on campus, such as 24-hour card-only access and resident-only access after 10 p.m.

  “The residence hall is a dwelling,” he said. “There’s some level of privacy that a person is entitled to.”

  Sandi Scott-Duex, the director of Residence Life, said that despite these and other measures, the responsibility for safety ultimately lies with students.

  “It’s really important for students to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals and tell staff members,” she said.

  Both Scott-Duex and Trende commended the student for “doing the right thing.”

  “Don’t open the door for just anyone,” Scott-Duex said. “You have to watch who you let into your house.”