Police unsure if sex offender was living in library

By Nicola Crean

University police are still unsure if the sex offender arrested at the Undergraduate Library, 1402 W. Gregory Dr., had been living there for a couple days prior to his arrest.

Twenty one-year-old Eric Kaminski was arrested early Thursday morning after security guards notified University police of his suspicious behavior. Lisa Hinchliffe, head of the Undergraduate Library, said Kaminski had not been living in the library. Instead he violated library rules, which prompted the security guards to take further action.

“Having a blanket in the library is against policy,” she said. “He was not living there. It is just not possible for someone to do that.”

She added that it was misinterpreted that Kaminski was living in the library simply because he had a blanket.

“The library’s security guards had seen Kaminski in the library the last couple days and had noticed some blankets in the corner of the library by some moveable shelves,” said Sgt. Tom Geis of the University Police Department. He added that, at this point, there is no way to tell if Kaminski was actually living there.

After his arrest, Kaminski was issued a trespassing notice that banned him from all University property in the future, said Geis.

“We do take the security of the students very seriously,” said Geis. “We issue trespassing notices if people are not related to the University in any way in an effort to further the safety of students and faculty.”

Library staff and security guards walk the building multiple times a day making it impossible for someone attempting to live there to go unnoticed, Hinchliffe said.

“To me, this is actually a sign of how much attention the library puts on safety and security,” she said.

According to police, Kaminski is charged with possession of stolen state property and unlawful storage of weapons at the library.

Geis said security guards found him to be in possession of a bag with some electronic equipment owned by the library and a 3-inch pocket knife.

Geis said he was registered in Champaign County as a sex offender, and was also found to have his registration form in his possession at the time of his arrest. Although Geis said he did not want to speculate on whether or not Kaminski has posed a threat to students, he said the library’s security guards took the necessary action to protect students.

“It is not uncommon for homeless people to use the library facilities,” he said. “But I would not go as far as saying that they are living there.”

Hinchliffe said the library handled the situation and maintained a level of safety that is expected by students.

“People are welcome to use our facility, but they are not allowed to break our rules,” she said.