Some of the most notable crimes on campus over the past few decades

By Kristi Lucchetta, News Editor

Alcohol Became a Problem
In 1988, the EWU campus faced a high number of alcohol related incidents occurring on campus, according to The Easterner, Volume 40. The Department of Residential Life took action and ruled that no open containers of alcohol were allowed in public areas.
Enforcing this policy stemmed from a drunk fight that involved several students at a dance and on-campus elevators being damaged by intoxicated students. From surveys found by Marianne Hall, former director of residential life, only 14 percent of Morrison’s residents and 13 percent of Pearce’s residents were of legal age to consume alcohol.
This is when EWU really started taking underage drinking seriously and revived the current policies. Police were cracking down on excessive alcohol consumption and enforcing the consequences of underage student drinking.

Violence and Theft
On November 17, 1990, a fight broke out during a student dance involving over 20 EWU students and at least nine student campus patrollers, according to The Easterner, Volume 42. The fight resulted in three students being arrested and two campus patrol students being sent to the hospital. One patrol student received five stitches from being struck in the head with a rock.
This incident led to the decision of eliminating student positions for security at on-campus events and changing the color of their brown uniforms, which were accused of resembling the brown-shirted police of Nazi Germany.
Shortly after the brawl, an EWU football player was arrested on a felony charge after being spotted with stolen property. Adam Kanouse, a three-year EWU varsity football player, was booked into Spokane City Council jail March 4, 1991, according to The Easterner, Volume 42.
Kanouse stole equipment from the science building the weekend of February 23. The equipment was specifically a Macintosh SE computer, one Zenith computer, two computer projection pads and one Citizens impact printer. Kanouse also stole a 525-pound capacity freezer.
Kanouse admitted to stealing the property alone, which rose skepticism among police.
The property value estimated to be $8,000.

Drugs and Suicide
The drug charges of four former EWU students led to 10 years of imprisonment, according to The Easterner, Volume 44. Thomas J. Lucas, one of the four students, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute “crack cocaine” and one count of firearm possession.
Lucas was arrested on May 27, 1992 and was in possession of five grams of crack. The other three students, Aaron Langston, Charles Welch and Quinton Blythe, were said to have lighter sentences because of their lack of involvement. This rise in “crack cocaine” in Spokane was believed to be associated with Southern California gangs migrating into the area.
On the sad morning of Oct. 4, 1992, a 16-year-old Cheney high school student was found dead on EWU campus from suicide. Lance Meili was discovered around 7:30 a.m. next to the EWU gymnasium by two Cheney residents. A .22 Caliber pistol was found nearby.
The suicide was said to be a shock to the Cheney community, being the third suicide in the last two years. These incidents resulted in a heightened awareness of teen depression and in local support groups.

A Rapist on Campus
It was not until 1997 when another big crime hit campus. Byron Scherf, a former EWU student was sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole on May 9. In March of 1997 Scherf was convicted of rape, kidnapping and possession of a gun, according to The Easterner, Volume 48.
In October of 1995, Scherf was accused of raping a Spokane real estate agent when he was an EWU tutor in the computer department. He forced the woman at knife point into the trunk of his car where he then drove her to a secluded area near Spangle and raped her.
Two days following the rape, Scherf was found at the Post Falls golf course while under the influence of LSD and PCP. Police found a letter in his car admitting to the rape and he was then taken into custody.
Upon entering EWU, he was convicted of second-degree assault along with being convicted for kidnapping, raping and setting a Pierce County woman on fire in 1981. He was not required to disclose any of his criminal history to EWU campus since his conviction came 13 years prior to the date of his application.