Bates College Safety Officer Fired After Tackling Student In ID Dispute

LEWISTON, Maine. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A 25-year veteran campus safety officer has been fired from Bates College after an incident where he reportedly tackled and handcuffed a student.

According to the Sun Journal, Lead Campus Safety Officer Dennis Skinner was suspended and accused of violating campus use of force rules on March 5 when he allegedly tackled the student while responding to a call about Covid-19 and alcohol violations by first-year students in a residence hall.

An incident report filed this week claims that Skinner found students drinking alcohol when he arrived. Many of the students scattered, when Skinner began questioning one student, who was also trying to leave.

The report said Skinner asked the student to show him his ID, and when the student attempted to leave through a nearby stairwell, Skinner pursued him, tackling him in the stairwell to try to restrain him.

Skinner claimed that the student put his hands on him first and tried to push him down the stairs, but there is no mention of that detail in the report summary.

The student also allegedly suffered minor injuries to his neck and wrist, but Skinner did not call for medical assistance.

School officials said another phase of the report is currently in progress -- and should be released by the end of the semester in May.

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