At approximately 8:30am this morning–in the midst of a three-hour campus lockdown–Shane Harding, 25, was arrested while on campus and put into custody by state authorities. The arrest marked the resolution of a manhunt following abduction and rape charges against Harding in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Students awake at the ungodly hour of 7:04 were alerted of Harding’s presence on campus via the following email/text from the emergency alert system:
A Skidmore emergency exists lock yourself in a room and keep quiet. Police are looking for a male suspect wanted for rape, suspect is armed. Suspect is a white male 25 years old, 5.9 170 lbs blond hair, wearing blue jeans, green long sleeve shirt. Stay in your rooms and report anything suspicious to Campus Safety. More information to follow. The college is closed until further notice.
What followed was a series of 13 alerts charting the investigation of the campus intrusion by both campus safety and State Police officials, which climaxed with the 8:14am alert that the suspect had been arrested and put into custody–and the 9:57am alert that classes would resume at 10:15am. At 10:12am, an alert was sent out in which Campus Safety “request[ed] that everyone keep an eye out for suspicious items that may be evidence,” whatever the fuck that could mean.
A more detailed account of Harding’s arrest/crime history can be read here.
Of course the question on everyone’s (see: or maybe just my) mind is what the fuck brought this creep to Saratoga Springs (let alone Skidmore College) from North Greenbush, but maybe that’s just reading into things too much and trying to find order and meaning where there lies none.
Either way, regardless of how ratchet our emergency alert system can be/look at times, the college, campus safety, and local/state authorities deserve a shout-out for quickly responding to the situation–and keeping anyone who was unfortunate enough to be awake at this time updated on what was going on.