A white man drew a firearm on four students who tried to enter an apartment building in Tallahassee on Saturday, September 8. The four juniors, all from Florida A&M University, were trying to get into their friend’s apartment that evening when the man in question allegedly accosted them, claiming to live in the building.
The man, identified as Don Crandall, told the students he was the resident of the Stadium Centre apartments and continued to argue that they were not allowed to enter the building before pulling out the gun to stop the group from entering the elevator with him. One of the students, Isaiah Butterfield, captured part of the 10-minute altercation on video and posted it on Twitter. After that, the apartment complex has clarified that Crandall is not even the resident of the building, which is marked as an off-campus housing for college students in Tallahassee.
Four black FAMU juniors, Isaiah Butterfield, Stephen Brooks, Joshua Cosby and Fitzroy Rhoden, were going to a friend’s apartment at Stadium Centre complex on Saturday. Another friend of theirs, Zavian Flowers, had just moved into the building and was throwing a party. While in the parking garage waiting for their friend to let them in, Crandall walked past them and told them they couldn’t come in.
“Then he turned and he said, ‘You aren’t getting in here if you don’t have a key,'” Butterfield told Buzzfeed News. “We were shook because we hadn’t said anything to him. We were just standing there and then he closed the door and locked it.”
Butterfield said that moments later, Crandall came back and began harassing them. Another random white man, who Butterfield referred as “Chad,” saw the interaction and began confronting Crandall for the students.
The video Butterfield posted on Twitter showed that Chad and Crandall are in a verbal argument while the students watched on. Chad asked the man what his problem was, then added, “You’re not just man enough to go about your day… you’re just wanting to run your mouth”. When Chad asked him where he was going, the man said: “Where am I going? I am going upstairs to get laid, where are you going… limp dick.”
The recording shows Brooks catching the door and pulling it back open as the rest of the group follows the man to the elevator. Crandall then turns around and confronts the students again. “You aren’t getting into this elevator without a key to this building… Do you have a key to this building?” Crandall says as Butterfield and his friends try to walk past him into the elevator.
The video then shows Crandall pulls out a gun and holds it while he tells the group, “If you don’t get a key to this building, you don’t belong in the elevator.”
The students demanded to know why Crandall is now holding a gun. “Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” Rhoden asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me,” Crandall said.
According to Buzzfeed News, Butterfield said his friends had pressed the man on his claims that he lived there, since it’s student housing and most residents are about 20 years old and “he looked like he was 45.”
At that moment, Flowers, the friend they intended on visiting, appeared and took the group up to his apartment.
The four students decided to report this incident to the police. On Monday, September 10, Tallahassee Police confirmed with Buzzfeed News that the students called officers shortly before 2 P.M. the next day. Police now are actively investigating the incident. Rachelle Denmark, a spokesperson with the department, said detectives were still conducting interviews and have not yet made any arrests.
Who Are The People Involved?
Isaiah Butterfield, Stephen Brooks, Joshua Cosby and Fitzroy Rhoden are the four students who got harassed in this incidents. All of them are juniors at Florida A&M University, which is a historically Black college.
Don Crandall, the white man captured in the video, pulled out a gun on those students while refusing to let them in nor take the elevator with them.
The resident at Stadium Centre complex who stood up for the students was referred as “Chad” by Butterfield.
“Firearms are prohibited on our property and we take this matter very seriously,” Stadium Centre’s management said in a message sent to its residents, that Butterfield shared with BuzzFeed News. “Moreover, we are firmly committed to creating a diverse residential community that is inclusive and welcoming to all.”
A Facebook event Arrest and Fire Don Crandall! was created on Monday, September 10, on which Baymont by Wyndham Tallahassee Central has announced that Crandall had been fired as general manager.
“This afternoon we, Pax Hotel Group, were informed of an incident that involved our General Manager of The Baymont by Wyndham of Tallahassee Central. Pax Hotel Group believes in bringing up and adding to the communities we are apart of. Our team has gone ahead and took the actions that were necessary to uphold our beliefs,” wrote the statement.
A front desk staff member at the Baymont by Wyndham Tallahassee Central confirmed with the Daily Dot that Crandall is no longer an employee of the hotel.