A man has been charged following a hazing incident at Carleton College in April. 13 students were found responsible for serious violations of the College’s student code of conduct and were suspended for 3 terms. But 19 year old Taariq Muhammad Vanegas has been charged with 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct. According to the criminal complaint, on May 3rd, Northfield Police began an investigation into a sexual assault on campus. The woman said it began with an email on April 23rd with the subject line “A Sincere Invitation to the Night that Never Happened”.
The email stated that she had been selected “from Carleton’s finest to take part in a tradition of excellence”. Adding, “ you would be forever in regret not to take advantage of this esteemed opportunity”. It goes on to give instructions as to where to meet, the Japanese garden at 2am April 28th and how to dress. It was signed “Do Not Live In Fear”. Throughout the days up to the meeting, she had anonymous messages and a couple of seniors walked up to her and said “Do Not Live in Fear” then walked away. She identified them. She met with about 12 other students at the appointed time. Over the next few hours, they were encouraged to drink a variety of alcoholic beverages and perform tasks before being initiated into a group called “DTX”. The woman was extremely intoxicated and blacked out several times. was found wandering in and out of dorm rooms wearing only a t-shirt. She eventually wound up in the hospital at 7:30 that morning with a blood alcohol level 3 times the legal limit. Vanegas texted her that he had her ID card and other items and she could pick them up. She asked if they had sex and he said yes. At 11:30 that night, she went to the ER where she was given a sexual assault exam. The College issued a No Contact order against Vanegas. Northfield investigators attempted multiple times to reach Vanegas for an interview. On May 19th, Vanegas and his attorney spoke with investigators. He said she initiated the sexual contact. His first court appearance is August 17th. Vanegas is/was a Carleton football player and rec league lacrosse coach from Seattle, Washington.
2017 a good year for development in Northfield
2017 is a good year for Northfield. Community Development Director Chris Heineman said the number of projects and renovations is the highest it’s been since the recession. He said he anticipates reaching the highest level since 2007, with over $80 million in permit valuation. That translates to more building! Carleton College’s Weitz Center expansion is nearly complete. As a $40 million project it’s brought in over 100 contractors and subcontractors to Northfield for over a year, many of them local trades. That’s local employment. It’s transitioning into an even larger project that will last 2 to 3 years. It’s a demolition, reuse and new construction on an entire Science Center on the Carleton campus. Carleton will also be transitioning their district heating system to geothermal which will be placed in the science building. Heineman’s full interview is on kymnradio.net.
Welcome Officer Scott Carlson
Northfield has a new police officer. Chief Monte Nelson introduced Scott Carlson. He is a 2015 graduate of Metropolitan State where he received his Bachelor’s degree in law. Carlson said he chose law enforcement to make a difference in his community and people’s lives. Clerk Deb Little swears him in (listen to audio below). With that, his father pinned on his badge. His family and several fellow police officers were on hand. I’ll have pictures on kymnradio.net later today.