Tips to stay safe: Crime continues through summer
- Aug. 18, 2012
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Despite students’ absence from the University and Lawrence this summer, crime continued as usual.
A former University law student driving the wrong way on Interstate 670 collided head-on with another vehicle, killing the other vehicle’s driver.
In May, Robert Domsch, a 25-year-old from Shawnee, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. The crash victim was identified as Marco G. Vendetti, 28, of Kansas City.
According to court documents, Domsch entered westbound Interstate 670 from the wrong way, striking Vendetti’s vehicle near Summit Street. Vendetti was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by Missouri’s Kansas City Fire Department emergency workers.
Domsch’s blood alcohol–level was taken at Truman Medical Center, where he was also treated for a broken leg and pelvis. His blood alcohol–level was .242, three times the legal limit.
He was last enrolled in the University’s J.D./M.B.A. program in the spring. His next court date is scheduled for September 13.
Douglas County prosecutors charged a Mission man with involuntary manslaughter, saying his involvement in a house party fight allegedly led to the death of a former University student in February.
According to court documents, Justin P. Gonzalez “recklessly” killed Nicholas Sardina, 27, on February 25.
Lawrence Police said in an earlier statement Sardina was injured during an altercation at a house party in the 300 block of West 14th Street and later died at a friend’s house in the 1500 block of Tennessee Street.
Sardina’s roommates, who were not at the house party, told the Kansan in an earlier interview they had heard from others that Sardina had a glass bottle broken over his head during the fight.
He was last enrolled at the University in fall 2011. Sardina was a sergeant in the National Guard from Clarence, N.Y. He served three tours of duty in Iraq from 2006 to 2007.
Gonzalez’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 28.
May – present
More than 50 aggravated burglaries occurred over the summer, and Lawrence Police are asking students to lock their doors and be mindful as they return to the University.
Police believe they’ve made two arrests in connection with the string of burglaries.
The first was 32-year-old William D. Washington III on June 9. Police caught him allegedly trying to enter another home while they investigated a nearby burglary in the 3400 block of Augusta Drive. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated burglary, burglary and three other charges.
Ronald Kenneth Brooks Jr., 33, was charged Aug. 1 with aggravated burglary and two other charges after allegedly entering two home in northern Lawrence.
Despite the arrests, the burglaries continue, police spokesperson Trent McKinley said Tuesday.
“There are likely more than these two individuals involved,” McKinley said. “We know that someone is either a copy cat, or maybe they’re working together.”
McKinley said students could just as easily become victims to burglary as any Lawrence homeowner.
“Don’t advertise what you have,” McKinley said. “Students’ laptops and belongings can easily be seen through windows.”
The burglaries all have similar characteristics. The burglar enters the property through an unlocked door or window while the residents sleep, so the easiest way to avoid becoming a victim is to lock up.
“Locking your doors doesn’t necessarily prevent crime, but it can prevent it from happening to you” McKinley said. “Lots of times they will just keep moving until they find an unlocked space.”
—edited by Sarah McCabe