Why didn't SWOSU warn students of Brandon Woods breaking into dorms?
Updated: Jun 14
By Johannes Becht
Brandon Ray Woods is a Weatherford resident with criminal background. Multiple times, he has been in possession of amphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He has resisted arrests. He has committed trespassing on the SWOSU campus multiple times in 2021. Twice, he has been arrested for breaking into dormitories during this Spring Semester. And still, the SWOSU administration chose not to notify students about it.
On Feb. 24, Woods broke into Henrietta Mann Hall to take a shower on the 4th floor - a female-only floor. A resident who is living on the same floor contacted us, saying that she was unaware until the middle of March when she read our story over the incident.
"I personally feel like the dormitory is trying to hide the matter."
On March 15, only 3 days after Woods was able to leave jail, he was arrested for breaking into Married Housing, where he was located in a bathroom. On April 10, he was spotted on the campus having a towel over his shoulder. Currently, Woods has an outstanding warrant due to failure to show up in court.
It took rumors among students, a detailed search in the Oklahoma State Courts Network, and a request for and study of case files from the Custer County court to inform students about a criminal who was unlawfully entering dormitories at SWOSU. So why did the administration decide against making students aware of Brandon Woods in the first place?
According to Brian Adler, Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing, the possibility of notifying students about Brandon Woods was indeed considered.
Adler: "Res Life inquired with the Dean of Students Office and others about possibly posting a picture of him at the doors of the buildings as a way to notify residents. The consensus was that Brandon Woods had violated a “no trespass” order, which is not in line with someone exhibiting a threat of harm or violence. Both offices felt the best course of action was to reiterate the need for residents to be educated on personal safety, keeping doors and property secured, and the need to pay attention to their surroundings."
As a matter of fact, Woods is charged with "willfully and intentionally breaking and entering into Henrietta Mann Hall, (...) without permission and without the intent to commit any crime."
In other words: The SWOSU administration did not consider Woods enough of a threat to feel the need to notify students, thereby possibly causing panic among them and their parents.
However, posting a picture might have helped students identify Woods in case he was on campus. This would have been extremely helpful for law enforcement, especially since he has an outstanding warrant since last week.
If you see Brandon Woods, call SWOSU PD via (580) 774-3111 or call 911.
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Editor's note: Readers are reminded that information in this article supported by an affidavit of probable cause is merely an allegation that a crime has been committed and that there is only probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The suspect is presumed innocent throughout the proceedings. The State is obligated to provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt before a judgment of guilt may be made.