Paramedics Respond to Resident in Distress at The Nest
NEIU Campus Police Chief Escalante said that the person is receiving care.
September 28, 2021
Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this article, photos included have been removed out of concern for privacy.
An undressed resident wielding a hammer caused property damage at Northeastern Illinois University’s (NEIU) dorms, The Nest, prompting authorities to evacuate the building when the fire alarm on the sixth floor was pulled at 8:49 p.m. on Monday Sept. 27.
NEIU police officers responded and encountered a resident of The Nest experiencing emotional distress. As a result of the fire alarm, the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) also responded to the event and took the distressed resident to a nearby hospital.
NEIU’s Campus Police Chief John Escalante said, “The individual in emotional distress was transported by Chicago Fire Department ambulance to an area hospital.” He added, “Further investigation at the scene revealed this subject was in possession of a hammer but did not threaten anyone with it. There was some sort of red substance smeared on the walls.”
One resident of the sixth floor, a 20-year-old studying business management, said that the person in distress was walking through hallways naked repeating the phrase “listen to your coping mechanisms.”
A second resident of the floor, a 21-year-old business major, told The Independent that they suddenly heard a banging in the hallway. Upon investigating, they saw a naked person in distress banging chairs against the wall by the vending machines.
Their clothes were all over the place and the person was walking back and forth down the hallway. The Nest resident commented that the person in distress told them they had set off the alarm using a hammer.
The resident called The Nest front desk to inform them about the situation, but the residents were just ordered to leave the building due to the fire alarm being set off.
Some residents were able to leave the building timely, but others stayed inside for a longer time. All residents were able to leave the building and the CFD eventually cleared residents to return.
Witnesses waiting to enter the building said the person in distress was restrained, their body covered with a blanket and brought to the ambulance. After the incident, a third resident, who is a 21-year-old majoring in communications, said they came back from class and asked The Nest front desk receptionist what had happened. The receptionist replied with, “the fire alarm went off,” adding no further information.
However, The Nest community was aware of the event since pictures and videos of the incident had been shared by witnesses on social media. The third resident said, “I saw the red marks on the wall of the sixth floor and all the mess.”
The Independent approached The Nest managers office—The Nest is managed through the private corporation, American Campus Communities—for a comment on the incident and was told “no comment” and that it is company policy to not speak with the media.