By Aiyana Ishmael
While trying to flee from the Tallahassee Police, a man drove into the yard of Florida A&M University’s Beta Nu Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity home.
The suspect, 21-year-old Christian Rollins, was stopped for a routine check, but ended up driving away from the on-duty officers. While fleeing Rollins drove through FAMU’s campus, but he crashed and was seized at the Beta Nu house. Rollins was charged with a violation of probation, fleeing from the police, possession of cocaine, narcotics, marijuana and grand theft of an automobile.
“We have a list of stolen vehicles and our officers were doing a routine traffic stop,” said Damon Miller Jr., the Tallahassee Police public information officer. “They turned on their lights and he then floored it and crashed into the fraternity house.”
Jared Brown, a graduate student and member of the fraternity, happened to be on his lunch break when he drove past the home. He noticed the abundance of officers so immediately stopped to see what was happening.
“I was just trying to figure out what exactly went on,” Brown said. “The police wouldn’t really tell me anything, so I had to explain to them that this is my fraternity’s house. They just told me that the car was stolen and the car was running from the police and lost control on that curve.”
Although Rollins didn’t hit their house completely, there was still some damage to the fraternity’s front yard. Brown mentioned that many of the members that live in the home usually park their car where the incident happened. None of them were home at the time so no damage was done to their vehicles.
“Thankfully the house wasn’t hit,” Brown said. “They came around the curve hitting the railing on the opposite side of the street and continued to cross the street right into our yard. We had a bonfire last week so the logs were still in the yard. The car got stuck on top of the logs and stopped it from hitting the house. A bench that we have in the yard was ruined, but I mean that can be replaced. It’s cheaper than us having to fix the house.”
Even though the bench was destroyed by Rollins on their property, the Tallahassee Police Department explained that the damage would have to be taken care of separately from this case. The fraternity members would have to have their homeowners insurance handle the property damage.
“It was a historic bench, like a cornerstone of the house,” said Myles Millsap, a member of the fraternity. “Our governing team will have to handle the replacement of the bench, but we do plan to get it fixed eventually.”