Following a physical altercation last November between two players on the Monroe College women's basketball team, New Rochelle Police took custody of a loaded .9mm semi-automatic carbine owned by one of the players. The gun was turned over to the police by Monroe College officials after an investigation by campus security into alleged death threats made by one of the student-athletes.
The altercation took place on October 31, 2011 at the team's dormitory at 14 Franklin Avenue in New Rochelle, NY. The loaded gun was discovered hidden inside a storage trunk in a dorm room across the street at 5 Franklin Avenue and reported to the police by Clifton Hollingsworth, the Director of Public Safety for Monroe College, on November 3, 2011. Talk of the Sound first learned of the incident last month based on an anonymous tip.
Unauthorized possession of a rifle, shotgun or handgun on a college campus is a illegal in New York State, even for legally registered weapons. Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The failure to make a timely report of a crime or "imminent threat" is a violation of the Clery Act, a federal law that deals with campus crime.
The two players involved in the altercation were Sydney Streater, 21, and Tamara Jones, a freshman.
Monroe College Vice President of Administration David Dimond said the argument that preceded to the physical altercation was related to a series of thefts in the women’s basketball dorm. There are no police reports of burglaries or robberies at 14 Franklin Avenue in 2011 or 2012.
In the aftermath of the incident Seth Goodman, the team's head coach, was fired. Streater was expelled. Jones was suspended for two months.
Goodman, the head coach of the Lady Mustangs since the 2001-02 season, is a former Women's Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year and the winningest sports coach in the school’s history. During his tenure, Goodman led the Monroe College women to a 180-35 (.837) record. He won three National Championships, five regional championships and was named WBCA coach of the Year for the 2005-06 season. The 2011-12 team he put together won what would have been his fourth National Championship in April 2012.
Streater, a 6’2” Center out of Rich East High School in Park Forest, IL was kicked in the side by Jones during the altercation on October 31st. The force of the blow caused Streater's spleen to rupture, inducing internal bleeding. She was taken to White Plains Hospital where she remained in the Intensive Care Unit for several days. Tamara Jones is a 6’0” Center out of Progress High School in Brooklyn, NY.
New Rochelle Police Detective Captain Joseph Schaller said his department first became aware of Streater when she was transported to White Plains Hospital.
“We investigated as part of the normal procedure in response to a situation like that.” said Schaller. “We were informed that the student had internal bleeding as the result of an assault. The injuries were not life-threatening and Streater refused to cooperate with police so no charges were filed.”
According to one source, Streater and Jones continued to argue via text messages while Streater was in the ICU. The argument escalated until Streater sent a text message stating that she had a gun and intended to kill Jones and her mother. Other students claimed that Streater had made similar threats in the past.
Dimond says Streater denied making any threats. Attempts to reach Streater for comment were unsuccessful.
Clifton Hollingsworth, a Director of Public Safety at the school told police that he subsequently obtained information that Streater had a gun. Hollingsworth and campus security searched the dormitory at 14 Franklin Avenue and found live ammunition in Streater's backpack.
Dimond told Talk of the Sound that he and Hollingsworth went to White Plains Hospital to confront Streater who stated that she was in possession of a "black rifle". Streater told Dimond and Hollingsworth that the rifle was locked in a "black chest" in her friends Apartment at 5 Franklin Avenue, another Monroe College dormitory across the street.
According to police records obtained by Talk of the Sound, Hollingsworth told police that he and campus security went to 5 Franklin Avenue, located a locked black chest, bypassed the lock and opened the chest.
Dimond disputed this account stating that the chest was not opened until it was brought to the security office. Dimond stated that the school's priority was the safety of the students.
“We will do that it takes to protect the safety of our students," said Dimond. "We're not going to tolerate behavior that threatens the community. We are managers of the campus and this community and we take great care in what we do. It is emotional for us. We care about these students.”
Monroe College Executive Vice President Marc Jerome echoed those sentiments.
Neither of the two Monroe College officials appeared to have a clear understanding of the dangerous weapon Streater brought to campus. Jerome described the weapon as a ".22 rifle". Dimond described the gun as an "old, non-working rifle".
Dimond reacted with surprise upon learning the gun had a live .9mm round in the chamber.
Police records indicate the weapon was a Hi-Point Firearms 995 .9mm carbine, most likely the Hi-Point Model 995-B, based on the description provided by Dimond.
The Hi-Point Model 995-B gained notoriety as one of the guns used by Eric Harris when he and Dylan Klebold committed the Columbine High School massacre.
The gun is often referred to by gun enthusiasts as the Planet of the Apes gun because it appears similar to the weapon used by the Gorilla soldiers in the original Charlton Heston film.
The Hi-Point Model 995-B weighs 5.75 pounds, has a 16.5 inch barrel, and takes several types of cartridges including 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The standard feed system is a 10-round detachable box magazine but after the 1994 Federal assault weapons ban expired a 15-round magazine was made available. Accessories for the Hi-Point 995 include a laser, a 4x scope, an RGB scope, a red dot scope,, a forward grip, and a forward grip and flashlight. The 10-round magazine will also work with the Hi-Point C-9 .9mm pistol.
"It's used for home defense, target practice and hunting small game," said an employee of a company that manages marketing for Hi-Point Firearms in Ohio. The woman declined to be identified for this article.
Below is a video demonstrating the rapid firing capability of the Hi-Point 995-TS, the latest version of the 995-B which replaces the solid stock with a target stock.