Transient man disrupts campus

Daniel Oleson is shown in a picture that was circulated by CU students 

An odd-acting individual was causing mayhem in the Castleton University Campus Center on Super Bowl Sunday, unplugging the game and frightening students.

The man, Daniel Oleson, was reported to be hanging around the school aggressively confronting students, disrupting the big game in the 1787 Room and breaking pool sticks.

The 21-year-old had a tall lanky build, with long hair and a beard.

According to Public Safety Director Keith Molinari, Oleson is a transient from Pennsylvania who was disrupting the Super Bowl and “then fled.”

After unplugging the sound system in the 1787 Room and repeatedly slamming the doors, he showed up in the Fireside Cafe and confronted a couple of students.

“At first I felt very uneasy. I just assumed something was off about him. I had seen him earlier that day while I was returning to campus,” said Castleton student Kerrigan Davis who encountered Olesen in Fireside. “He demanded I look at him and kept trying to make conversation with me.”

“Anyone like that is a little frightening,” Davis said.

Before he came to Fireside, students said they went to the cafe to essentially hide from Oleson. But it wasn’t long before he made his way down there.

Senior Nick Thompson also encountered Oleson.

“He walked past me and then turned around and said, ‘You know what, I’m going to take one of these’ and he straight up took one of my onion rings,” Thompson said.

Oleson drove Thompson to leave.

“I left because after everything that he had been doing, he just kept coming back doing different things. It just gave me a weird feeling and made me want to leave,” he said.

Oleson was also reported to have climbed onto a Wheeler Hall balcony and laid in their hammock.

Public Safety partnered up with the Castleton Police and were actively looking for him. Later Sunday, he was found and issued a no trespass order, Molinari said.

“We needed hands on him to see and give him the no trespass. Then the next step is if he shows up, then he gets arrested,” said Molinari.

Molinari said it was later learned that Oleson had a history of mental illness and had made his way from Pennsylvania to Castleton because he knew someone from the area. A police affidavit provided by Castleton Chief Peter Mantello revealed that Oleson had previously stayed at a Main Street home for those with mental disabilities.

The affidavit also said police were called to the Main Street Heritage Credit Union Bank a day later because Oleson was “scaring” people and trying to get money from an overdrawn account.

Police were also called to deal with Oleson for refusing to leave a Woodbury Road home of people who knew, after he punched a window.

He ended up being charged with two counts of trespass, according to Mantello.

After leaving the halfway house on Sunday, Molinari said he came to the closest source of warmth, Castleton Campus.

According to Molinari, Oleson has had no criminal history and was not a harm to himself or others.

“He is a very odd individual, but the important thing to know is that there was no indication of violence,” Molinari said. “Mentally ill does not mean violent and harmful, mentally ill means mentally ill.”

Mantello last Wednesday said he had spoken to Oleson’s mother and learned of his history of mental illness. At the time, Mantello said he was unsure where Oleson was, but he said he had been arrested twice for trespassing  for, “definitely doing some stupid stuff for sure.”

Mantello went on to say that if they saw him again on the campus or at the bank, they would arrest him a third time, but he also said after speaking with his mother, he sympathized with her plight in dealing with his mental health issues.

He is due in court on Feb. 25.


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