Gallaudet University Chief Operating Officer Dominic Lacy announced on June 17, 2022, that Theodore Baran, Director of The Department of Public Safety, will no longer continue in his role at Gallaudet. Joining officer Baran are Teres Gregory, Manager of Field Services, and Sherita Kennedy, Manager of Communications, Parking, and ID.
Gallaudet DPS has a sordid history of alleged police brutality and false arrests. Student Carl Dupree was killed by campus security officers in an illegal choke hold on November 9, 1990.
In September 2010, Eric Plunkett was murdered by Joseph Mesa-although the murderer’s identity would go undiscovered for over four months, during which time he killed another Gallaudet University student Benjamin Varner, 19, who was found dead in his room on February 3, 2011. He’d been stabbed in the head, back, neck and chest, and his throat was slashed.
Gallaudet student Thomas Minch later filed a False Arrest and Defamation case against the District of Columbia. The claims arise from Minch’s arrest and overnight detention early in the investigation of the murder of Gallaudet Eric Plunkett.
On August 5, 2020, Robert Manganelli and Terrylene Sacchetti settled a false arrest, wrongful death, and ADA lawsuit against Gallaudet University arising from actions led by Gallaudet DPS and Officer Bauer – in the arrest and incarceration of their son Gianni Manganelli while he was in the midst of experiencing a mental health breakdown – which led to his suicide after being released from jail the next day. How does my son’s cry for help become an arrest by DPS? Gio was alone in his room just before midnight. He harmed no one,” asked Mr. Manganelli.
As recently as February 19, 2022, Roberto Cuenca Maldonado, a freshman honors student at Gallaudet passed away in the early morning of a medical emergency. The case is currently under early review. Pending a determinate autopsy report, claims of negligence indicate that it took Gallaudet DPS a full 50 minutes to respond to an emergency call for help during Roberto’s asthma attack. COO Dominic Lacy announced that the replacement Commander of DPS will be an officer that is being promoted from the inside rank and file. “Commander Rader has been with Gallaudet for twenty years and brings a wealth of experience and institutional knowledge to his new role. Importantly, he is committed to establishing a higher standard of conduct for all of DPS that is reflective of and is based on our shared values of equity and belonging, bilingualism, respect, and innovation. These values are integral to the creation of a safe and inclusive campus experience for our students and campus community at Gallaudet.”