Student falls through greenhouse


An unknowing freshman fell through the roof of Butler University’s greenhouse last Saturday.

Butler University Police Department Sgt. Mike Banner said that the student sat on the greenhouse roof, thinking it was brick, and fell through the glass.

BUPD withheld the name of the student involved.

“It’s hard to say how far he fell,” he said. “If he fell the entire way, it could have been close to 20 feet.

“I noticed several cuts on his hands, arms, legs and a cut on his lip.”

Medics from Wishard Hospital treated the student.

“They put a few small bandages on his cuts,” Sgt. Banner said. “He had one cut on his leg that might have needed a few stitches.”

Banner said the student refused to go to the hospital with the ambulance but that his friend would take him later.

“He had been drinking,” Banner said. “But I don’t think that was a major factor in why he fell through the glass.

“I think he thought it was concrete because it was painted gray.”

Footprints can be seen on the glass where paint once was.

The manager of the greenhouse white footprints surround the floor of the greenhouse in the area where the student fell.

He said he also noticed a smear of blood on a nearby sink and was skeptical that the student simply sat on the roof.

BUPD Assistant Chief Andrew Ryan said he doesn’t know whether or not the student sat or stood on the building but he doesn’t believe any of the student’s actions were meant to damage the building.

“I’m not of the opinion that he was maliciously trying to cause damage to the greenhouse,” he said. “He just made a bad decision.”

Banner said another factor may have been the student’s unfamiliarity with the building.

“If he would have been on campus a few years, he would have know that the building was made of glass,” he said.

Banner said  BUPD didn’t press any criminal charges.

“Our report was generated and it was forwarded to student affairs to decide what kind of discipline there will be,” he said.

The greenhouse is used for biology classes such as the Principles of Biology and the Principles of Botany. It is also used for some art classes.

Jerry Carlson, director of maintenance at Butler, said maintenance responded to the call from BUPD about someone falling through the roof.

“We asked an employee to come in ASAP early Sunday morning to board up the broken glass,” Carlson said. “We then contacted a glass replacement company to replace three panes of glass on Monday, Aug. 30.”

Carlson said the total cost of the glass replacement and repairs was $377.15.

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