Appalling Crime Forces the Office of Student Life and Public Safety to Make Changes
By Gabriel Davila
The Banner’s former editor in chief, Jean Claude Quintyne, was arrested on March 15 after being identified as the individual who broke into the student newspaper’s office and stole a $1,700 iMac. Quintyne’s arrest shocked staffers who worked under him only a few months before and called the relative safety of CSI’s campus into question.
Quintyne is currently being charged with grand larceny, criminal trespassing, and possession of stolen property after being identified as the person who stole an iMac computer from the Banner office on March 3.
“When he came into the office, I thought he was a respectable person,” said Daeyung Lee, a former Editor in Chief of the Banner. “I thought he would make it far and he did by becoming editor in chief. I want to say I knew him well, but it seems like I didn’t because I never thought he would have done something like this.”
In reaction to this incident, CSI’s Office of Student Life now wants publications to lockdown computers, tighten access lists to the offices, and take extensive inventory of all of the offices’ equipment.
CSI’s Director of Public Safety, Robert Wilson, was unavailable to comment on the burglary and if any extra security measures will be taken.
Though, Clifford Michel, co-Editor in Chief, said that a public safety officer now checks every room in 1C before 11 p.m. as opposed to a building manager.
“These changes are coming and they’re coming quickly,” said Michel.
Quintyne visited the Banner office on March 3 and talked with Michel and Ramses Martinez, 1C’s building manager that night, according to Michel.
Michel left around 9:30 p.m. and when Martinez made his last rounds at 10:30 p.m. Quintyne said that he would be leaving in five minutes.
Surveillance footage captured Quintyne as he descended down a staircase near the Banner office at 1:18 a.m. on March 4. Other surveillance videos showed Quintyne walking with the iMac through campus, all the way up to the S62 bus stop.
Michel and Diana Porcelli, co-Editor in Chief, broke the news to staffers on March 17 at the start of a full staff meeting. For the majority of the Banner’s 17-member staff, Quintyne was both an editor and a friend.
“I’m honestly so shocked,” said Brielle Sparacino, the Banner’s assistant lifestyles editor. “I don’t even know what to say.”
Michel saw the surveillance footage on March 7 along with Robert Kee, who currently oversees all student publications at CSI, and identified Quintyne as the person carrying away the iMac computer.
The NYPD’s warrant squad contacted Quintyne on March 10. Quintyne called Porcelli at around 4:30 p.m. on the same day, but Porcelli didn’t pick up or call back.
Detectives arrived at Quintyne’s place of residence on the morning of March 15 and questioned him. Quintyne initially denied that he stole a computer, saying that the iMac was his and that he left CSI at 11 p.m., according to Michel.
Eventually, after being told about the security footage, Quintyne went with the detectives to the 121 Precinct in Staten Island. Michel retrieved the iMac, which had been wiped of its memory and operating system, along with a public safety officer around 1 p.m.
“Like the rest of the staff, I felt shocked and disappointed when I found out who took the computer,” said Kee. “I just want this investigation to come to a close and move forward.”
Quintyne stayed at the Staten Island precinct overnight and, according to Silive, “was released on his own recognizance during his arraignment Wednesday in Criminal Court.”
Both current and former staffers described Quintyne as quiet and slightly aloof.
As Editor in Chief, Quintyne often worked long hours at the Banner office and largely took on the responsibilities of running the newspaper on his own, sometimes, according staffers, to his own detriment.
Staffers also brought up Quintyne’s interest in film. The ex-Editor won a film award from the College in 2014 and often placed articles about CUNY film culture on the Banner’s front page.
Quintyne failed to graduate from CSI last semester and received all “WU’s” (withdrawal unofficial; results in a 0.0 GPA for the course) and withdrew from the College unofficially, according to a source who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.
“I was very close to J.C and there were many times I came in and found him alone,” said Lucia Rossi, the Banner’s arts and entertainment editor. “I want to know why he did it. I want him to learn from his mistakes.”