A 20-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man accused of creating chaos on the KU campus made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon.
Samuel Lennell Moore has been charged with two counts of felony obstruction in connection with an incident Friday afternoon that led police to perform a room-by-room search of Kansas University’s McCollum Hall. The residence hall was shut down for more than three hours.
Moore also is charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were called to KU’s largest residence hall Friday afternoon, after a student told housing staff she heard an argument between a man and a woman in a neighboring room. She said she then heard a male voice say, “Where’s my gun?”
Someone else reported seeing a light-skinned black male run through the halls with a gun. KU officials this weekend said it turned out the person who reported seeing the armed man was actually Moore, and that Moore is believed to have been the person who said, “Where’s my gun?”
At Moore’s court appearance Monday, his attorney John Johnson said, “There is no gun, no one had a gun, I doubt anyone has seen a gun.”
During the incident Friday, KU activated its emergency notification system and sent e-mails and text alerts to students, faculty and staff. Many students were forced from the residence hall while the search was conducted. Some were advised to lock themselves in their rooms as police searched for a possible suspect. After more than three hours, students were allowed to return to their rooms when the suspect was no longer believed to be in the building.
When police first arrived at McCollum and interviewed the woman in the room where the disturbance occurred, she gave police a false report that an armed man had attacked her, and gave a made-up description of what he looked like.
KU officials said Moore told police he was visiting a female friend on the floor and intervened to protect the woman from the armed assailant. He also allegedly gave a false description of the assailant and used a fake name for himself when questioned by police. Moore, who does not live in the residence hall, left the building shortly after being interviewed.
Moore turned himself into KU police Sunday. After the Friday incident, he stayed with his mother and stepfather in Kansas City, Kan. Johnson told the court on Monday that Moore’s parents persuaded him to surrender and were with him when he did so.
Moore was also wanted for failing to appear in court on three other cases. One case involved a misdemeanor criminal trespass at Ellsworth Hall in 2009.
Moore is not a KU student.
According to Douglas County District Court records, Moore was sentenced to probation and pleaded guilty in two theft cases — one filed in 2008 and another in 2009.
Moore’s parents were in the courtroom Monday. They declined to comment on their son’s case.
Douglas County District Judge Sally Pokorny voiced concern that Moore had failed to appear before her on multiple occasions when he was ordered. “I regard it, I’ve been dissed by Mr. Moore,” she said.
Prosecutor Greg Benefiel asked that bail be set at $50,000. Pokorny set Moore’s bond at $18,000.
She further ordered that if Moore posts bond to get out of jail, he is to stay away from KU. His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 14.