Reporter file photo

Reporter file photo

UPDATE: Man charged with assault after attacking NU security

Elizjah White is charged with two counts of assault after attacking two security guards.

The suspect who attacked two Northwest University (NU) security guards after entering a women’s bathroom has been charged with two counts of assault with a $100,000 bail.

Elizjah White, 21, is charged with assault in the second and third degree after he drew a knife, grabbed the genitals and bit the chest of two security guards in the Hurst Library on Sept. 25. NU officials described White as a “transient male”— a claim substantiated by court documents as he has arrest and charging history between 2015 and 2017 in Indiana, Illinois, and Oregon.

Additionally, White had on him a Wisconsin driver’s license, issued in March 2018, and $1,379 of cash when he was arrested. His bail was originally set for $5,000 but was increased after a request from the prosecutor in light of these facts.

“The requested bail amount more appropriately takes into account the defendant’s recidivism, the danger he poses to the community if released and his risk of flight,” court documents read. “Based on the defendant’s out-of-state ties, recidivism, and violent conduct in this case, the State believes that the requested bail amount is appropriate to protect the safety of the community and to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court.”

White was acting strangely and interacted oddly with students in Hurst Library before he entered the women’s restroom. Several students took notice and quickly reported him to campus security. White became combative when two security officers confronted him upon exiting the bathroom.

White grabbed officer Christian Klumper’s genitals and bit officer Craig Cranfield’s pectoral muscle, drawing blood, during the altercation. He also opened a folding knife and intended to use it, according to the charges, but the guards were able to disarm him.

The guards detained the suspect until police arrived despite their injuries and with help from library director Adam Epp and student Caleb Bates. Police promptly arrested the suspect, finding two more knives clipped within his sleeves, and the two security officers were treated for minor injuries.

White immediately stated to police that he was off of his medications and could not help himself, according to the police report. He then stated that he was being raped by the security officers and wanted to be recorded and documented.

“We are grateful to God that our people avoided serious injury,” said NU President Joseph Castleberry in a letter to the community. “We are proud of the heroic actions of our people who acted promptly to subdue the intruder, and we will honor them publicly soon.”

White had previously committed this type of attack and was sentenced to Mental Health Court for assault on a civilian and a police officer only six days before the incident. White attempted to punch a random stranger and then squeezed and twisted the responding officer’s testicles, according to court documents.

Epp, in a press release credited the school’s regular “ALICE” training in prompting him to respond.

ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. ALICE is a nationwide training institute that works with schools, businesses and other organizations to help individuals proactively respond to an aggressive intruder or active shooter. The training method contrasts a “lockdown only” method by providing ways for individuals to adapt to the safest response in an emergency situation.

Castleberry encouraged community members to participate in training opportunities on campus.

“We encourage everyone to take advantage of training opportunities in order to be ready should this kind of incident occur in the future,” he said in the letter. “Any time you see a suspicious person or activity on campus, please call security at 425-864-1552 so that trained officers may assess the situation. Never be afraid or nervous about calling.”

NU offered counselor services following the day of the incident at its wellness center for anyone who may have experienced trauma during the violent encounter. School officials encouraged students to contact the residence life personnel for any counseling needs.

“All of us should take special time to pray this evening for those who may be in distress and also to offer thanks to God for our safety,” Castleberry concluded in his letter.

Locals can look for updates on this case at www.kirklandreporter.com.

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