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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac student arrested, suspended from university after apparent on-campus arson

Quinnipiac University officials suspended a first-year student following his Oct. 31 arrest in connection with an apparent arson in a Mount Carmel Campus residence hall.

The Hamden Police Department’s public arrest log indicated that 18-year-old Dimitrios Constantio Panayotopoulos faces one felony reckless burning charge and two related misdemeanor charges. 

The Department of Public Safety responded to an arson in Dana English Hall at 1:54 p.m. on Halloween, per Quinnipiac’s daily crime and fire logs. The Hamden Police Department’s Oct. 31 activity log shows that police responded to a report of criminal mischief on the Mount Carmel Campus just before 2:30 p.m.

Panayotopoulos’ arrest record indicates police did not arrest him until 5 p.m., more than two hours after initially responding.

It is not immediately clear what he is accused of setting on fire. The severity of the apparent fire or any resulting damage is also unknown.

“The student has been suspended from the university pending their conduct meeting,” wrote John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, in a Nov. 8 statement to The Chronicle. “We applaud our Public Safety officers, and Facilities and Residential Life staffs for their swift response, which led to the student’s arrest and removal from the university community.”

Reckless burning is defined under Connecticut law as the intentional initiation of a fire or explosion that “recklessly” places a building in danger. If convicted, the felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Police also charged Panayotopoulos with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

The state’s penal code defines second-degree criminal mischief as unjustified activity committed with the intention to “cause damage to tangible property of another.” It is a Class A misdemeanor — the most serious kind — and carries up to one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Second-degree reckless endangerment is a lower-level misdemeanor charge that involves engaging in activity that “creates a risk of physical injury to another person.” If convicted, it carries up to six months in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.

Panayotopoulos, who police released from custody on a $1,000 bond, will be arraigned in Connecticut Superior Court in Meriden on Nov. 16.

“The safety of our students is always our top priority,” Morgan wrote. “Destructive behavior will not be tolerated. That is simply not consistent with the culture of Quinnipiac students.” 

This is a developing story and has been updated as more information has become available.

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