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ECU Police are investigating damage to the football field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, shown above, as well as additional vandalism to the stadium and surrounding property this weekend. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

UPDATE OCT. 24, 2012:

East Carolina University has completed its review and announced today that William James Banks is no longer enrolled at the university, effective Oct. 22, 2012. Banks also is no longer a resident on campus, according to university officials.

ECU student arrested in vandalism at Dowdy-Ficklen

Oct. 22, 2012

By Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

East Carolina University Police have arrested one student and are looking for two other suspects after an incident at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium over the weekend that left damage on and off the field.

Lt. Chris Sutton reports that approximately $35,000 in damage was done by three suspects during a Sunday morning break-in at the stadium.

William James Banks, an 18-year-old ECU student from Trenton, faces multiple charges, including breaking and entering, first-degree trespassing, damage to personal property, and damage to real property including the football field.
Two water fountains underneath the stadium were among the items damaged at Dowdy-Ficklen.

According to Sutton, between 3 a.m. and 6:20 a.m. on Oct. 21, the suspects used three Kubota recreational vehicles to drive onto the field and cut circular patterns in the turf.

The suspects also drove the vehicles into the North Ramp, damaging it and the vehicles, and knocked two water fountains off walls under the stadium. The suspects also entered a Coke concession trailer and damaged inventory, as well as damaging the Adventure Concession stand under the South side of the stadium.

Damage to the field is estimated at $10,000, Sutton said, while damage to the Kubota recreational vehicles is estimated at $20,000. The broken water fountains and ramp, along with the concession stands damage, is estimated at $5,000.

Banks was arrested when ECU Police officers were on the scene investigating the incident and an ECU athletics department employee spotted him trying to climb a wall surrounding the stadium. Banks told the athletics employee that he was looking for his lost cell phone. A cell phone had been found on the damaged field. Banks was held at the Pitt County Detention Center on a $20,000 secured bond.

Banks also faces charges from a separate arrest that occurred hours before the football field damage; those charges include possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce. He was arrested at 9:37 p.m. Oct. 20 and taken to the Pitt County Detention Center on a $1,000 secured bond.

Banks was also charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle, which was reported at 7:41 p.m. Oct. 21. He was arrested and held on a $5,000 secured bond for this charge.

ECU Police are reviewing surveillance video from the stadium and are working to identify the other suspects. Anyone with information should contact the ECU Police Department at 252-328-6787.

Sutton noted the grounds crew is working to repair the damage to the field to have it ready for Saturday’s football game against Navy, which is Military Appreciation Day.

“We want to put our best foot forward for every game but especially for the military appreciation game. The university wants to put the focus on the armed forces personnel who we are honoring for that game,” Sutton said.

Suspects used three Kubota recreational vehicles to damage the turf at the stadium. One of three suspects has been arrested.

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