Student charged with break-in, theft, vandalism at Amherst College

By Chelsie Field

Courtesy Larry Kelly/
Courtesy Larry Kelly/

A University of Massachusetts student is facing charges after police allege that he broke into and vandalized a health center at Amherst College.

Bradley Keigwin, 20, has been charged with breaking and entering in the nighttime, larceny, and damaging and defacing property at the college’s Keefe Health Center, according to Amherst College spokeswoman Caroline Hanna.

Keigwin is also accused of spray painting two swastikas at the facility during the Sept. 9 incident. In addition, police say that he stole items from the building during the break-in.

The North Falmouth resident was apprehended by police in town shortly after they responded to an alarm at the health center. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges lodged against him during an arraignment last Monday, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The Gazette also reported that a pre-trial hearing for Keigwin will occur on Oct. 23.

The news of the incident prompted a sharp response from UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who condemned the case in a campus-wide email issued on Friday.

“I write to you today to express my deepest sorrow that this incident took place and, on behalf of the university, to express our solidarity with
Amherst College and the entire Five College community,” Subbaswamy wrote in the message.

“While the break-in and theft are reprehensible, it is the painting of the swastikas that are most distressing,” Subbaswamy added. “A swastika, which symbolizes anti-Semitism and other forms of extreme intolerance and hatred, has no place in any society that values and celebrates the many diverse forms of humanity.”

Amherst College officials also sent out an email to faculty, staff and students on that campus last week, where they called for community members to respect the rights of all, the Gazette reported.

Chelsie Field can be reached at [email protected].

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mentioned that student Bradley Keigwin was listed as being on the UMass swim team. While his athletic profile is still listed on the UMass Athletics website, officials have since told the Collegian that he is not included on this year’s roster.