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Weill Hall

December 16, 2016

Ithaca Man Accused of Theft, Multiple Campus Trespasses Turns Himself In

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An Ithaca man turned himself in to Cornell University Police on Wednesday, about a week after authorities named him a suspect in a theft and two trespassing incidents on campus.

John S. Gould, 55, was arraigned this week in Ithaca City Court and charged with third degree burglary — a class D felony, attempted petit larceny — a misdemeanor — and two trespass violations. He is currently being held at the Tompkins County Jail without bail.

Two persona-non-grata notices attached to a felony complaint filed in Ithaca City Court show that Cornell Police twice banned Gould from all Cornell-owned property indefinitely, in September 2014 and May 2016. The 2014 ban said Gould is not allowed on campus because he was found trespassing “in buildings and private offices where larcenies have occurred.”

Both the burglary and petit larceny charges stem from an incident in Comstock Hall on Oct. 28, where a witness said he saw a man searching through offices on the sixth floor and confronted him on the fifth floor, when he saw the man looking through items in an unoccupied office.

Jamie Freeman, the witness, said he works in Comstock Hall and saw a man “peeking into unoccupied offices,” according to a statement given to Cornell Police Sgt. Justin Baum.

When Freeman asked the man if he was looking for someone, the man replied that he was “interested in chemistry and liked reading articles and information posted on the walls in the offices,” according to Freeman’s statement.

“He seemed to be making this up as the articles are not that interesting and he didn’t really know what he was talking about,” Freeman told police.

Freeman selected Gould’s picture from a photo array of six pictures and said in his statement that he is 70 to 80 percent sure Gould’s picture is the man he saw going through the offices.

Cornell Police said in a Facebook post Friday that Gould is also a suspect in a theft from a Weill Hall office on Oct. 28 and a trespassing incident in Bradfield Hall on the same day, as well as another trespass in Comstock Hall on Oct. 31. All three buildings are within about 1,000 feet of each other.

The criminal complaint filed in court only mentions the Oct. 28 incident in Comstock Hall and names Freeman as the lone witness. A voicemail left with Deputy Chief David Honan late on Friday was not immediately returned.

Gould will appear in Ithaca City Court Monday at 9 a.m., according to Cornell Police.