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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

Student ‘no longer enrolled’ at Quinnipiac after Halloween arson

Quinnipiac University officials expelled a student for participating in a Halloween arson that caused an estimated $1,000 in damage in a Mount Carmel Campus residence hall.

Hamden police arrested former first-year Quinnipiac student Dimitrios Panayotopoulos on Oct. 31 after he reportedly admitted to burning property in Dana English Hall. 

According to police records obtained by The Chronicle, six second-floor dormitory room doors and several surfaces in the nearby men’s restroom — including an electrical outlet, a soap dispenser and a toilet seat — sustained varying degrees of burn damage.

Police said the electrical socket’s proximity to the “significant” burn damage “could have caused a fire or an explosion in the dormitory.”

Brian Stewart, a Quinnipiac Department of Public Safety investigator, told police he received an anonymous tip accusing Panayotopoulos of committing the arson.

The 18-year-old Stamford, Connecticut native — who police said was “coincidentally smoking marijuana” when Stewart responded to his second-floor dorm room — cooperated with university investigators and “admitted to burning QU property,” according to the police report.

Stewart then contacted the Hamden Police Department, advising dispatchers that Quinnipiac officials “wished to press charges and wanted Panayotopoulos removed from the property.”

Panayotopoulos reportedly told police he was “not responsible for all the burn damages” but refused to implicate other students by name. 

A video taken of a different student burning a dorm room peephole allowed investigators to identify another participant in the Halloween arson, according to a second report filed three days after Panayotopoulos’ arrest.

Police said this student — who reportedly appeared “remorseful for his actions” — indicated to investigators that a third student also engaged in the burning. However, only Panayotopoulos faces criminal charges.

Panayotopoulos reportedly called his actions a “stupid mistake” but offered “no explanation” for why he set fire to the dormitory surfaces.

John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, confirmed Wednesday that Panayotopoulos is “no longer enrolled as a student at Quinnipiac.”

The university takes very seriously any action that could jeopardize the safety of our students, Morgan wrote in a Nov. 15 statement to The Chronicle. We will act swiftly against anyone found responsible for this or similar conduct. Vandalism and destruction are simply not consistent with the well-established culture of our university community.

Panayotopoulos, who police released from custody on a $1,000 bond, will be arraigned Nov. 16 on one felony reckless burning charge and two related misdemeanors.

This story has been updated to reflect new details as they have emerged.

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