Incident Rattles Student


by Kelsey Knutson

During a lonely walk home from Kresge Hall to the ATO fraternity house in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 25, freshman Tommy Green found himself in a dangerous situation with some unwanted company.

Green, an Indianola native, was stopped just outside of the Brenton Student Center around 4 a.m. by a stranger wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a ball cap who, according to Green, pretended to be an undercover police officer for the Indianola Police Department (IPD).

The stranger, identified as Zachary Quick in the police report, is not a Simpson student. Quick allegedly pointed what appeared to be an all-black assault rifle at Green “for several seconds” before saying the rifle was actually an air-soft rifle. From there, Green said that Quick asked him if he had been drinking and allegedly made him complete sobriety tests.

“He had me walk heel-to-toe in a straight line,” Green said during a phone interview with The Simpsonian. “The whole time he kept telling me he was an undercover cop. He had a real-looking gun around his neck. He pointed the (air-soft) gun at me.”

Green said that Quick then decided to escort him back the ATO fraternity house. Quick allegedly told Green not to run and if he didn’t follow his directions then he would “subdue him,” according to Green.

When Green and Quick got back to the ATO house, Green realized he didn’t have his keys to get in, so he knocked on fellow ATO member Mitchell Pitlick’s window, who is also the president of ATO.

Pitlick rolled out of bed to let Green inside to find that an unfamiliar face was standing next to him. According to Pitlick, Quick then told him that he was an undercover police officer and stepped inside of the ATO house. According to the police report, Quick allegedly took three beer cans from the residence as “evidence.” According to the police report, before leaving, Quick asked Green to take off his t-shirt and give it to him.

“Then he left,” Green said.

The police report said that Quick had shown Green his drivers’ license when he identified himself as a police officer, so Green began to investigate on his own.

“I looked him up on Facebook and found out he was my age and not an undercover cop,” Green said.

Later that morning Pitlick told junior Pat Gerhardt, Simpson Security undergraduate assistant and ATO member, of the incident. Gerhardt contacted the IPD.

“The guy told (Pitlick) that Simpson fell under his jurisdiction,” Gerhardt said. “And that isn’t true because Simpson Security has to contact IPD and request them to come to campus.”

According to Gerhardt, the IPD will usually be called to campus in situations involving fights, abuse or ambulance and fire department calls.

“I’ve been here three years and nothing like this has happened before,” Pitlick said. “It’s stupid.”

The IPD then contacted Green and Pitlick to take statements. According to the police report Quick was arrested andcharged with second degree burglary, impersonation of a peace officer, false imprisonment, assault without injury and fifth degree theft. The police report also stated that during an interview with Quick at the Indianola Police Department, he admitted to taking the t-shirt from Green, identifying himself as an Indianola Police Officer to both Green and Pitlick, forcing Green to perform sobriety tests and using the air-soft gun.

“If this happens again,” Gerhardt said. “I think it wouldn’t be from a Simpson student. My gut feeling is that this won’t happen again.”

As for Green, an average college night turned out to be somewhat interesting, but it isn’t something he’d like to repeat.

“Weird stuff can happen in Indianola,” Green said. “The best thing to do is not to be outside at 4 a.m. like I was.”

Zachary Quick could not be reached for a comment.