Tyvonn Green, ’19, was arrested in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, Nov. 20, and charged with being party to an armed robbery of Gary’s Variety on Buffalo Road. The robbery took place earlier the same day at approximately 10:10 a.m., according to the Erie Times-News.
Erie City Police did not respond to repeated phone calls requesting comment over a three day period.
The car which was used in the robbery was owned by Levi Lundell, ’17, who loaned the car to Green on Friday, Nov. 18.
Lundell said Green had asked to borrow the car to visit a friend who had been shot and was in a hospital in Erie. Lundell, a community advisor for Crawford Hall, knew Green prior to loaning him his car.
According to Lundell, Green often visited friends in Crawford. He said Green had borrowed his car once before to take someone into Meadville and had returned the car quickly with a full tank of gas, so when Green asked to borrow it again, he saw no issue.
“What he promised was to bring back the car immediately. I got a call from the detective instead,” Lundell said.
Lundell said when Green did not return the car on Saturday, he assumed that he had decided to stay longer in Erie. He said he tried to text and call Green, but received no answer.
The car, Lundell said, was eventually returned to him just in time to drive home for Thanksgiving. The interior of the car smelled of marijuana and spit from chewing tobacco filled the ash trays and covered the floor, Lundell said. Lundell said there were also several mix CDs and some articles of clothing.
The detective told Lundell that a mask and several knives used in the robbery were recovered from vehicle and taken into evidence.
Director of Public Safety Ali Awadi said his office had been contacted by Erie Police following the recovery of Lundell’s vehicle.
“They called us to try and get more information on the car,” Awadi said.
Awadi said that beyond trying to obtain more information about the vehicle, the police did not provide him with any additional information regarding the incident.
Lundell said following the robbery, several people, including three resident advisers, told him that Green had been suspended from the college previously for stealing from his roommate.
Dean of Students Kimberly Ferguson declined to comment on the claims. She said via email that the college is not permitted under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to speak to any specific disciplinary case.
“Nor would we comment regarding a case that is being investigated,” Ferguson said in the email.
Ferguson also declined to comment on whether outside criminal charges could be grounds for disciplinary action, instead referring The Campus to Article VI of the Student Code of Conduct, which outlines sanctions the college may implement against a student for “academic and non-academic conduct matters.”
Article VI makes no mention of whether criminal charges against a student may be grounds for disciplinary action on the part of the college.
Lundell said if the claims are true, he feels Green should not have been allowed to remain on campus.
“I don’t think it was right to have someone who committed a crime stay on campus,” Lundell said.
Since the robbery, Lundell said he has received phone calls from Green’s mother and father. He said Green’s mother called to tell him that Green had not been involved in the robbery, and that it was a friend who had actually committed the crime.
Lundell said she told him that Green had driven his friend to the Erie store, who had then pulled out a mask and committed the robbery. She said Green had no prior knowledge of the robbery, according to Lundell, and she asked for him to pray for them.
Another suspect in the robbery, Richard Ricks, was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 29, according to the Erie Times-News. Police allege that Ricks entered the store wearing a mask, demanding cash and threatening to shoot an employee if they did not comply.
As of Tuesday, according to the Erie Times-News, both Green and Ricks are still being held in Erie County Prison on bond, Green for $50,000 and Ricks for $75,000.