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After stabbing that left one dead, University of Toledo confirms both people involved as students

News Editor

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012

Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012 09:12

Stabbing press conference

Danielle Gamble / IC

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton and Vice President for External Affairs Larry Burns address the media on Dec. 20.

Both victims involved in a stabbing Wednesday night that left one of them dead have been confirmed as University of Toledo students, and officials say they believe no one else was involved in what appears to be an altercation.

Josiah Galat, 20, of Mansfield, OH, a senior majoring in engineering, was found dead behind Horton International House, according to university officials.

Erik Littleton, 19, of Detroit, a sophomore majoring in engineering, was then found and transported to a local hospital.

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said a 911 call was made around 9 p.m. Wednesday by someone unconnected to the incident, which occurred in a stairwell of the residence hall.

While Littleton is known to have serious injuries, his status has not been released.

Newton said that the victims had a “friendly relationship” prior to the altercation, and that there is “strong evidence” indicating no other individuals were involved. He said the students were rooming together over winter break, but they were not residents of I-House or roommates over the fall semester. 

“We’ll be examining all the evidence, but right now there’s no plans for any charges at all,” he said.

Newton said he cannot currently confirm if drugs and alcohol were involved, but part of the investigation will include a toxicology report. He said they are also “looking at all potential video evidence.”

Larry Burns, vice president for external affairs, said although the students were staying at I-House, they were neither international students nor resident advisers.

Burns said the university has resumed normal activity while UT and Toledo police continue to investigate the incident.

Newton said he believes there is “nothing that [UTPD] could have done to prevent this.”

“I would just send a message that this is the type of incident that can happen anywhere,” he said. “The campus is very safe.”

(Story continues after video.)

Students were alerted to the incident last night when UTPD released a Timely Warning notice at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday night, and they lifted the alert at about 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

Burns said students will be kept updated through social media, and that administrators will begin to discuss plans for a memorial service.

Burns said after I-House was secured by police, students were relocated to another area of campus.

 “Anytime we have an incident that occurs, we look at it as a learning opportunity and we’re going to look at everything and see if there’s anything that we can do to make the campus safer,” Newton said.

Burns was at the scene last night with Kaye Patten Wallace, vice president for the student experience, and Chuck Lehnert, vice president of administration . 

Burns said he spoke to the students staying in I-House, and the general mood was “shock, and then as time went on it was just somber, and sad that two people would do this.”

“Our faculty, our staff, are deeply saddened for the people involved,” Burns said.

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Thu Dec 27 2012 16:41
Actually the previous listed crime data for UT was for the period 2009-2011 just to be clear. Such crimes are an unacceptable problem in all urban areas including colleges located in major cities. Look at reports for Akron, Kent State and other similar size cities and campuses in Ohio and other US cities you you will see the problem everywhere. Not to claim we should avoid it but lets put UT into that perspective.
Thu Dec 27 2012 14:11
With 20,000 students plus 6,000 staff UT is a small town. Violent crime is not acceptable in any small town, but are such crimes on the increase? The most recent campus safety report lists crimes from 2009 to 2011; sexual offenses declined from 4 to 2 (again none are acceptable!), robbery dropped from 6 to 0 in 2011, assaults increased from 0 to 4 in 2011, and burglary went from 134 (2009) to 69 (2010) and 105 (in 2011). These are for campus only and not the surrounding neighborhoods some of which have their own crime problems as does the City of Toledo. With some research (IC staff? The Blade??) perhaps a comparison of other urban college campuses of same size would be worth examining to determine how safe UT is and whether it has a crime problem?
Thu Dec 27 2012 14:09
With 20,000 students plus 6,000 staff UT is a small town. Violent crime is not acceptable in any small town, but are such crimes on the increase? The most recent campus safety report lists crimes from 2009 to 2011; sexual offenses declined from 4 to 2 (again none are acceptable!), robbery dropped from 6 to 0 in 2011, assaults increased from 0 to 4 in 2011, and burglary went from 134 (2009) to 69 (2010) and 105 (in 2011). These are for campus only and not the surrounding neighborhoods some of which have their own crime problems as does the City of Toledo. With some research (IC staff? The Blade??) perhaps a comparison of other urban college campuses of same size would be worth examining to determine how safe UT is and whether it has a crime problem?
Tue Dec 25 2012 11:40
"According to our analysis of the government data, University of Toledo is a relatively unsafe place to be in. American School Search gives this school grade "C-" on safety."

Mon Dec 24 2012 11:05
You guys are making UT look bad with your concerns about danger and safety! Keep them to yourselves! And for the love of God don't express them in public where people can see and come to the conclusion that UT is anything less than excellent!!

You guys are seriously overreacting. You're acting like an innocent student was just stabbed to death on campus.

Sun Dec 23 2012 22:53
Whenever there is a homicide on campus or when a student gets murdered somewhere close to campus you have to ask the question whether or not campus is safe. You're not doing anyone (students, faculty, etc.) a favor by not asking this question. Students lives should be the most valuable asset to a campus. You can not take this crime lightly.
How many more murders/rapes/arrests should occur before you ask this question? Zero. Just 1 is enough to ask this question.

I looked at the crime statistics on the UTPD website that were published as of Oct. 2012. Not sure if they included the A-house incident.

9 rapes
7 robberies
4 aggrevated assuaults (all in 2011) see we have an increase in assaults
308 burglaries
1 homicide (Josiah Galat)

So judge for yourself if UT has a crime problem.

And man, you must have really low expectations of the IC:
"I have been on the UT campus for years and never expected the IC to break any important stories or investigative reporting, they are simply a student newspaper without the resources and expertise to investigate any event."

They've broken plenty of important stories in the past and have done plenty of investigated pieces. That's what college papers do.

The point any one of these people commenting on this article have been saying is to not just take the UT admins story as the true narrative and to ASK the tough questions right away and to continue asking them. If I was on the paper I'd be doing it now.

I'm a student and if the other people commenting are students and we are asking whether UT has a crime problem and are scared don't just tell us to shut-up and listen to what papa Burns has to say. Listen to our concerns.

P, P & J
Sun Dec 23 2012 19:21
Kathy the student writers are have not been on campus for over a week, most are not even from the Toledo area, do you actually expect the student paper to conduct any serious investigative reporting of this or any other story when none of the are here????. And note that the Toledo Blade has also done no other reporting on this incident.

The UT Police were on the scene and able to make the determination that only the two students were involved, they indicated no other evidence otherwise, so yes they made that statement. Would you rather have had the UT Police wait weeks to make any statement? As a UT staff member and parent I am glad they were able to determine the nature of the incident and make a public statement when they did. I have been on the UT campus for years and never expected the IC to break any important stories or investigative reporting, they are simply a student newspaper without the resources and expertise to investigate any event.

And please if you are going to make a statement that the campus is a scene for repeated violent crimes provide us the examples and evidence and that the UT Police are not doing their job. Again as a UT staff member and parent with a student here I certainly do not feel that way.

Sun Dec 23 2012 19:03
Hi Peter Paul Jacobs. Yes, just about everything I've posted is relevant. Please tell me what is irrelevant. In the meantime, I will tell you what is irrelevant about your posts. To begin, since you brought it up, it is irrelevant to think that just because these student journalists are on break that they shouldn't take care to write a thoughtful article. If they can't handle a murder professionally, then they should reconsider being writers. Yes, they are here to learn. But who are they here to learn from? The administration? It is like the present-day war reporters who are so afraid of reporting against the government or showing the other side that they end up just running what they know from the military. If in matters of war they are afraid of ruffling feathers and losing their comfortable relationship with the government, then they shouldn't be in the business to begin with. The same goes here, in this situation of a campus that has had repeated violent crimes take place in the jurisdiction of its university's police force.

But my main problem, if you read my post, was with the way the administration handled the issue by just brushing it off as an isolated incident before all the details of the investigation were revealed. And my beef with the Collegian on that regard is that they ran with it. There's been little thought this year on the words they choose and the stances they take. The kidney story? Dropped the ball. They've been so scared to do original reporting and use their own words that they only end up trafficking the words of the administration because the people in suits are the people who hold have influence. Read the Collegian and UTNews side-by-side and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Pete and Paul Jacobs
Sun Dec 23 2012 17:16
Yes Kathy you caught me I am President Jacobs brother Peter Jacobs (but I sometimes go by Paul). But do you really have anything relevant to post on this incident??
Sun Dec 23 2012 15:47
Make up your mind. Are you Peter J or Pau Jl? Also, what does the J stand for? Jacobs??
Paul J
Sat Dec 22 2012 15:29
I never said it was not a crime or a murder as it clearly was. Two students got into a knife fight, one was killed and the other is in the hospital. Those involved are known as it the crime scene and a weapon recovered. The University has a required to inform the UT community and public that it was an isolated incident between two students who were roommates and involving others or from those off campus. That is what was and is currently known and reported by UT and the Blade. Also the IC consists of student reporters and since fall classes and exams are over most of those students are not even on campus so what kind of investigative reporting are you expecting? Until the full investigation is complete, including interviewing the one student currently in the hospital we will not know what the dispute was about and whether (and why) both were carrying knifes. They are calling it an isolated incident because two people were involved and both accounted for, that it was not part of a larger crime or involving other individuals and issues. Two roommates had a disagreement which resulted in a fight that ended up involving a knife(s) with both injured and one dead. Calling it an isolated incident is so the public and UT community know that there are no other suspects involved nor any ongoing related crimes.

I am on staff at UT and have current and future kids at UT so I am very aware of the campus environment and the many issues regarding the current UT administration, none of which contribute to a campus I feel safe to be on night and day as do my kids and as a parent and employee I appreciate the response of the UT Police and sharing information as soon as they were able (and their promise to keep us updated) on the nature of this terrible event and loss of life of one of our students

Sat Dec 22 2012 14:53
I've been reading the Blade and the TV channel reports on the stabbing, and thought I'd check the student paper to see what they were saying about the murder. Must say, very disappointed in these student journalists. The Blade has been doing a great job. The folks here should take note. I thought the comments on the Blade website were terrible (they were using this killing to justify pro-gun ownership), but I must say, some of the comments here are far more disturbing.

I have to agree with Mike and Dr. W and those being critical of the IC and the administration. Peter J's last comment sounds like something out of a PR handbook. If we're still waiting for the investigation to finish, then why is the administration already calling it an isolated incident? What does isolated incident even mean? Isolated from what? From campus? From students? From the campus crime issue? Just because this was two students and not someone from off-campus, does that make it any less serious? Oh, you know what Peter J and UT administration folks, you're right, they were just two kids who happened to be fooling around and just happened to stab each other. Not really a crime, right? How do we know complaints weren't filed against them before? How do we know that they weren't involved in trouble with UT before and UT ignored the issue? So before you isolate it from God knows what you're isolating it from, you should wait until all the details are released. And there's one detail that no one has yet to bring up that says it all: Both these young men had knives on them. Why do two students feel the need to carry knives on them on the University of Toledo's campus? So, yes, people can attribute this to a campus crime problem, because it's a crime, a murder. But Lloyd Jacobs' folks can't just isolate it already. It's too soon to isolate it. How selfish of Jacobs and his folks to be so concerned with the image of the university before truly taking into consideration the safety of its students. I hope people see through the isolated incident and normal operations comments and realize how disingenuous Jacobs, Burns, and the rest of university leaders have been about mostly everything these past 6 or 7 years.

Peter J
Sat Dec 22 2012 11:28
I do not work for the UT admin, but I understand that they are only to state what is known to them 24 to 48 hours after this attack happened. The facts will come out in time especially once the police have a chance to interview the other individual. And yes someone killed another person so it will clearly show on the UT annual safety report as a homicide (it already appears on the City of Toledo crime listings as such). What was important was to inform the community and UT that there are no others involved and that both were students known to one another who had a dispute and not someone from off campus. Or that it is part of a campus crime wave. I pointed to the report only to provide a source for those who are claiming here and on facebook that UT has a major violent crime problem. The UT Police and administration have a responsibility under federal law to report such crimes and also inform the UT community that all suspects have been identified which they were able to do in a timely manner, thus reporting the facts as they knew them to be. Would you or others have been more satisfied if the UT Police and administration refused to say anything about the attack but wanted weeks for the investigation to come to completion? They have also stated that as more information comes available (including interviewing the other individual) it will be released to the public.
Fri Dec 21 2012 23:46
Mike, I think you are asking too much from the IC. Wait for a real newspaper like the Blade to answer these questions for you.

Mike is doing the IC a favor by being critical of them and urging them to honestly question what is occurring on campus and not be fed the BS that comes from the administration. But sadly it seems as though the IC staff doesn't want to hear any criticisms or suggestions, they're only interested in compliments and praises and I'm sure they've been getting a lot of them from Burns and Jacobs this year.

Dr. W
Fri Dec 21 2012 20:22
Uh, Peter, the average person doesn't check the numbers from their original source. Sounds like something a UT admin would say, to "judge for yourself". Honestly, I doubt UT will list this murder as a murder in their crime statistics. They're already trying to PR-whitewash it by calling it the "isolated incident" or a "domestic-type" incident, before all the details are released. What were they fighting about? Some people are saying Erik was trying to rob Josiah. Many questions need to be answered before the IC can jump to conclusions and absolve the university of potential neglect. How long did it take to escalate? Were the fighting all night? Were the RAs ignoring it?

Yeah they knew each other, but most crimes occur between people who know each other. UT is clinging to this detail to make it seem as though it's not a dangerous environment. When a rape occurs between two people who know each other, does that change the fact that it was a rape? Or does it not belong to a broader rape problem just because these two people knew each other and so it was domestic. The fact of the matter is that a UT student died and the police are still investigating it, and the IC and UT admin are already irresponsibly jumping the gun and saying it's an isolated incident before all of the details are uncovered.

The role of the media is to put the powerful in check and inform the people about issues that are important to them. The IC this year has been very quick to adopt and use the language of power. It's lazy journalism, to the point that it's no longer journalism.

Peter J
Fri Dec 21 2012 14:23
By federal law UT submits an annual crime report for campus, the most recent copy is available from the UT Police website, so you can judge for yourself whether UT has an increasing crime problem or not, especially violent crime.
Fri Dec 21 2012 00:03
The Collegian is good for something. I own a coney island and the papers make good lining for my fries basket. Thank you Collegian.
Thu Dec 20 2012 21:41
Toledo always ranks high as one of the countries most dangerous cities.
Detroit is the nations most dangerous city where many of UT students come from.
It should be no surprise to anyone that the University of Toledo would have a crime problem and I really hope
Anonymous1 is not naive enough to believe the fluff from UTPD and the UT administration. Of course they're
going to press on that this is an isolated incident and that UT is VERY SAFE. That's their job to reassure the campus that nothing is wrong.
Don't forget that when Larry Burns was referring to the kidney transplant fiasco he would
say "the kidney was accidentally rendered unusable" and not "the kidney was accidentally thrown out by a nurse."
It's there job to make sure problems that occur on campus seem as non-problematic as possible.
The whole press conference's purpose was for UT to do damage control and it seems the reporter for this story fell for it.
Thu Dec 20 2012 20:00
This sentence (The names were released late this afternoon/early this morning.) should be: The names were released early this afternoon/late this morning. I don't want Anon to think that this mis-type was meant to be "funny or something".
Thu Dec 20 2012 19:58
Anon - Sorry, I didn't know a mist-type was meant to be "funny or something"

Mike - Did you not even LOOK at this article? They have the press conference video imbedded in the article! That is how I watched it. And tell me where I said this wasn't a crime. I said it was not a result of a "crime problem" on campus. This would have been a part of a "crime problem" if it was a random person who got jumped and stabbed; this was the result of a domestic dispute. Domestic disputes are nearly impossible to prevent. The names were released late this afternoon/early this morning. An article I read around noon didn't have their names, then an article I read within the next hour had their names. And what would interviewing the families solve? These students were supposed to be on campus - hence why they were living in the dorm that is used to house students who stay on campus over winter break. All students that were in I-House were checked in and supposed to be there. All students had the ID to be there. Everything was being done correctly in regards to checking people in and out and making sure the correct people were allowed in.

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