Saddleback student Zach Chanoski, 21, assaulted a Campus Safety officer April 9 and had to be subdued after a short chase.
Chanoski allegedly entered the Student Health Center around 11:30 a.m. asking personal questions, according to another student who was present in the Health Center. The nature of his questions prompted Health Center employees to call Campus Police, to which Chanoski said he didn’t want police involvement and ran out of the building.
“I saw a cop take down a guy in the grass in front of the SSC building and Health Center,” said Ashley Gollwitzer, 21, kinesiology. “He was screaming and making a scene. The cop was struggling, so I figured I’d help. He needed to call for back up, I was his back up.”
Officer Santos Garcia responded to the Health Center’s call and struggled to contain Chanoski. While he was squirming, Garcia attempted to handcuff Chanoski.
“The cop tried to handcuff him, but the handcuffs closed,” Gollwitzer said. “He had to get a second pair. I kept his feet still while the cop handcuffed him, then I gathered his belongings and broken pair of sunglasses in a pile. I walked away, turned around and I saw that the guy kicked the cop and ran away.”
Though eyewitnesses report seeing Garcia pull a baggie from Chanoski’s pocket, it was unclear if he was intoxicated.
“He was definitely on something,” Gollwitzer said. “I saw a recovery videotape with his books.”
Chanoski kept yelling “I don’t have anything on me,” and vulgar remarks directed toward police officers. Chanoski then kicked Garcia, shoved his shoulder into him and took off running.
“This crazy guy was running, with his pants falling down, handcuffed, and the police officer chasing after him,” said RemBrandt Hanslik, 24, intercultural studies. “The officer tackled him but it looked like he was struggling so a random guy came in a minute later to hold down his head.”
Chanoski made his escape around the corner of the SSC building, but was taken down in the bushes between there and the HS building. A student who wished to remain anonymous helped Garcia take him down.
Garcia held Chanoski for around 15 minutes while a group of students began to surround the scene. Chanoski began shouting racial slurs to onlookers when the Ladera Ranch Fire Department arrived.
“There was a guy down in the bushes,” said Fire Apparatus engineer Robert Salcido. “We were called to check it out. They had him handcuffed.”
Paramedics were called and decided to transport Chanoski for observation to Mission Hospital.
“When [people] don’t act normal, they call us,” Salcido said. “We’re taking him to Mission Hospital to figure out what he has. We couldn’t clear him.”
According to witnesses, the student attended class that morning to take a midterm. He left class to speak privately with his instructor, but didn’t return to finish the exam. It was just after this that the student appeared in the Health Center.
According to Officer Dan Lincoln of the Campus Police, Garcia “was injured in the altercation and sustained minor injuries.”
Chanoski was booked and later released from the Santa Ana Central Jail April 9 on charges of assault. Chief Harry Parmer of Campus Police confirmed that charges are being filed with the D.A. against Chanoski and that the case is still under investigation.
Student captured by police is hauled away for medical observation.
An unidentified student helps Campus Safety Officer Santos Garcia subdue a student acting erratically on campus Wednesday.