Pitt police identifies men involved in Tuesday incident as students from Denison University on ‘scavenger hunt’ who had to ‘scare someone’

Police say students were participating in Pittsburgh-specific scavenger hunt and had to “scare someone”


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

The area around Ruskin Hall was the site of the first account of suspicious activity in Oakland this week.

Pitt Police released a statement Friday identifying the individuals involved in a Tuesday morning incident in which a female student was chased near Hillman Library. Police say four students from Denison University near Columbus, Ohio, identified as Richard Calder Buonocore, Matthew Redmond, Otto Laakonen and Jack Armstrong, were participating in a scavenger hunt and were tasked with scaring someone in Pittsburgh. Pitt Police detectives interviewed the individuals in Ohio on the evening of April 11.

“All four have been placed on Persona Non Grata (PNG) status from all University of Pittsburgh property,” the statement reads.

The report says the scavenger hunt was sponsored by an “informal group” on campus.

“Other tasks included visiting Pittsburgh sports venues, taking selfies at various bridges and publicly insulting prominent Pittsburgh sports figures,” the statement said. “All four students have been referred to the Denison University conduct process.”

Personas Non Grata are not permitted on any University property except in the case of permission from the Vice Provost and Dean of Students, according to the Pitt Student Code of Conduct.

Christy Tostevin, a Denison spokesperson, said the University was cooperating with the Pitt police investigation into the incident.

“We, like the University of Pittsburgh, take these incidents seriously,” Tostevin said in an email. “We are investigating and do not provide public information on open investigations.”

Pitt spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Contributed reporting by Jon Moss.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.