Student speaks out on York Hill garage incident

By on October 28, 2009

Gina Curcio thought that something seemed familiar as she read a story in last week’s Chronicle. An incident that Chief of Security and Safety John Twining described sounded similar to something that happened to her in the York Hill parking garage. But it was also very different.

“This is my story, but not my real story,” Curcio said.

Twining told The Chronicle last week that as a girl pulled up to a parking spot in the garage, “a guy who was walking in the garage who knew her knocked on her window to get her attention, and she, having heard all kinds of rumors, was scared to death, and drove off and claimed that she was about to be car-jacked.”

Curcio said that she believed Twining was referring to her, but that her story is significantly different.

“The way it was portrayed, it just made me look like an idiot, like I just made up the whole thing,” she said.

Curcio said that the first Saturday after the school year started, she drove into the parking garage with her friend who was visiting from Southern Connecticut State University. As she was driving, a male in a hooded sweatshirt approached her rear passenger door. Her friend moved to unlock the door, but she quickly said, “No, don’t do that! I don’t know who this person is.”

Curcio then cracked the passenger window and asked what the man wanted. He replied, “I need a ride, I need a ride, I just need a ride.” He then began fumbling with the rear passenger door. Curcio then sped off to a different spot and ran back to the Crescent with her friend. She told her Residential Assistant, who instructed her to inform security.

Curcio said a few days later she shared her story in front of a large group of students at a meeting at York Hill that was hosted by Residential Life. Afterward, she said she discussed the incident with Crescent Residence Hall Director Dennis Lue-Yat, who declined comment.

“I’ve been getting phone calls, and people know this is my story and it’s embarrassing the way [Twining] sounded like I knew the person, but thought someone was trying to hijack my car,” Curcio said.

Twining told The Chronicle that he had not personally seen any report filed by Curcio.

“I don’t read every report that comes across the desk,” Twining said.

Twining said that he was told there were no incidents of this type in the garage during the first month of school, and he stood by that.

Ben Wald, Student Government’s liaison to security, spoke with Twining about this incident.

“Chief Twining won’t discuss specific incidents with me, just as I will not discuss who the concerns I receive come from,” Wald said. “However, I approached him about the garage incident and he told me that in fact it was all a misunderstanding, and the individual who knocked on the window was in fact a friend that the girl did not recognize at the time.

“These could very well be two separate incidents, however, I am leaning toward the fact that they are one and the same.”

Curcio thinks that Quinnipiac wants to keep the story quiet to downplay fears about York Hill security.

“I think that when it comes to security, they shouldn’t be sugarcoating anything,” she said. “I just think they should be honest about security and stop lying.”

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