KU student booked into jail in masked man disruption

A 25-year-old Kansas University student was booked into the Douglas County Jail Wednesday evening after allegedly disrupting two KU classes while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, terrifying students across campus, KU public safety office Capt. James Anguiano said.

John Michael Cowan, of Lawrence, was arrested just before 6 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of obstruction of the legal process and disorderly conduct. He was released from jail about three hours later after posting a $1,050 bond.

Anguiano said a second, unnamed man interviewed in connection with the incident was issued a citation for interference with the duties of an officer. The man, who is also a KU student, was not taken into custody but given a notice to appear in court, Anguiano said.

In several videos that circulated on social media, an individual, thought by law enforcement to be Cowan, is seen wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, warning full classrooms about possible consequences for the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Kappa Sigma was suspended last month after allegations surfaced that multiple instances of sexual misconduct occurred during a party at the house homecoming weekend. No arrests have been made in connection with the allegations.

“We are coming for you,” Cowan allegedly said in the video. “All members who do not dissociate themselves from this fraternity will be seen as guilty parties, and they will be dealt with accordingly.”

Anguiano said officers did not know whether the incidents were pranks or serious public safety concerns. In a campus-wide alert, KU public safety said no weapons were found.

The incident remains under investigation. It is unknown at this time whether more individuals were involved, Anguiano said.

Anguiano said the KU PSO is operating “the same as usual” following the scare, and it “never had extra security” in response to the incident.