Police Files 2/3/2022: Series of elevator entrapments across campus

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Maggie Willard

An outside view of the Oakland Center — one of several buildings on campus where community members have had difficulties with elevators.

Tori Coker, Content Editor

In January there were a total of seven elevator entrapment incidents reported to the Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) around several locations on campus.

The earliest report received by The Oakland Post chronicles an entrapment within the freight elevator of the Oakland Center on Jan. 7, 2022. At 4:14 p.m. that afternoon, one subject reported himself to be stuck between the first and second floors of the building before calling back four minutes later with the news that he’d gotten off the elevator.

Just over an hour later that day at 5:49 p.m. the OUPD was alerted of another elevator entrapment within East Vandenberg, with the caller stuck on the fifth floor of the building. Schindler Group — the elevator manufacturer — was contacted in reference to this incident at 5:56 p.m., and as of 6:25 p.m. OU Housing was reported to be on scene with the caller.

The following day around 12:38 p.m., two additional subjects were reported to be trapped on Vandenberg’s sixth floor. Dispatch then contacted both Schindler Group and OU Housing, with the incident’s final update the former’s acquisition of the keys to the elevator at 2:11 p.m.

Sophie Hume

Two days later on Jan.10 10, multiple calls were made from a Hillcrest Hall elevator reporting the entrapment of four subjects, beginning around 8:43 p.m. and lasting for some time before the connection would remain intact. The trapped students were given an estimated time arrival (ETA) of one hour at 8:57 p.m., and were finally able to escape the elevator at 10:06 p.m.

Fast forward to Jan. 21 at 7:39 a.m., when another call is made from a student trapped in the elevator on the third floor of East Vandenberg Hall. The police contacted Schindler Group after arriving on-scene, and the latter subsequently freed the student from the elevator before declaring the machine to be out of working order for the rest of the day.

On Jan. 25, a guard on duty within Vandenberg Hall contacted the OUPD around 10:39 p.m. to report an elevator stuck between the sixth and seventh floors with no one inside. As of 10:57 p.m. that night, the incident was concluded with a comment stating that Schindler Group would “check” the elevator the following day.

While the Post was in the process of acquiring the above information, another elevator entrapment was reported on Jan. 30, 2022 at 2:51 a.m. We await more information on this incident, but can confirm it occurred within Hamlin Hall.