Campus officials have the power to ban people they deem a threat


    TCU Police had Lorenzo Cortez arrested near Smith Hall on Oct. 29 saying he was in violation of a criminal trespass citation that forbid him from returning to campus.

    Cortez, however, is just one of several individuals who have been arrested on campus in recent years.

    Sgt. Kelly Ham of the TCU Police, who compiles the information regarding criminal activity on campus and writes the university’s annual Security and Fire Safety Report, said there have been approximately 50 arrests on campus in the last decade.

    “As a private university, we have the authority to check who is on campus and the ability to make TCU a safe environment for students and employees,” he said.

    Ham said the TCU Police Department often receives calls regarding trespassers, and officers patrol campus looking for solicitors, con artists, homeless individuals and potential criminals.

    “When you’re an experienced police officer,” he said, “it’s easy to spot someone who is not legitimate.”

    Those deemed to pose a threat to campus safety are initially issued a citation, Ham said, and TCU Police enter the names of such individuals into a computer database. Ham said if a trespasser returns to campus after having already received a citation, and is therefore listed in the database, the individual will be arrested and banned.

    Ham said Joey Retana, a member of the Fort Worth community, was arrested at the annual fall concert on Sept. 5. Campus police warned Retana to leave, Ham said, but he snuck back into the concert and was arrested by TCU Police.

    In June, David Jenkins, a former Horned Frog cornerback, was arrested on two counts of burglary. However, Jenkins is not the only football player to have been arrested and banned from the university.

    In February of 2012, 18 students were arrested in a drug sting operation led by the Fort Worth Police Department. Four of those arrested were members of the TCU football team at the time: defensive tackle David Yendrey, defensive back Devin Johnson, linebacker Tanner Brock Jr. and offensive tackle Tyler Horn.

    The students were immediately suspended from the university and banned from campus. Ham said the length of that ban is indefinite.

    Ham said all 18 former students could appeal the ban. The decision regarding whether or not to revoke the ban would be left to the discretion of Chief of Police Steven McGee, Ham said.

    Ham said TCU Police and Campus Life worked together to determine appropriate punishments for the arrested individuals. The TCU Police had to enforce strong consequences as a result of the students’ drug dealing, he said.

    “Those arrested were dealing with the distribution of narcotics instead of just usage,” Ham said.

    In light of the 21 bans in the past three years and more than 50 arrests in the last decade, TCU Police said it’s determined to make campus a safe environment for students and faculty.

    “If there is reason to believe that an individual will threaten the safety of the TCU community,” Ham said, “we will arrest that individual.”

    This story was updated at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22.