Disclaimer: The following story, photos, and accompanying items are fictionalized and are part of Saint Leo University’s Alternate Reality Learning Experience (ARLE). The events described did not occur. The characters are fictional and any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.
Three University students were arrested on Oct. 14. While the charges are pending, the students were arrested in connection to the campus burglary of Dr. Penny Smith.
Three suspects were arrested: Alicia Stumbo, a senior ornamental horticulture major; Damon Jackson, senior forestry major with a minor in fungi revitalization and president of the fraternity Beta Omega Rho; and Michael Freedman, senior fermentation science major with an auctioneering minor and Captain of the University’s football team. Freedman dated Alicia during freshman year.
Smith, professor of sociology, was found unconscious in her office by fellow staff on the morning of Sept. 28. The incident report provided by Campus Security and Safety stated that Smith was stung by several wasps when entering her office and as a result, stumbled, fell, and hit her head. She was taken by ambulance to Florida Hospital in Zephyrhills. She remains in a coma and is still hospitalized. Her condition is unchanged.
The medical exam of Smith stated she was allergic to bees, although the crime scene report shows that she was stung by wasps.
According to the doctor that examined Smith, “Wasp and bees’ stings trigger the release of chemicals, including histamines, from cells in the body and tissues where they are stored. An allergic reaction happens when the body’s defense system overreacts…The whole body is affected often within minutes of exposure to the allergen, but sometimes hours later.”
However, it is not unheard of for someone with a bee allergy to react to wasp stings.
“Technically, someone who is allergic to bees is rarely allergic to wasps, but then again, there’s nothing saying that they can’t have separate allergies to both,” said allergy expert Dr. Melania Strat. “There is one common ingredient in both venoms, hyaluronidase, which would cause allergy to both venoms.”
The crime scene report is currently indicating this incident as a burglary. According to the incident report the unknown subjects of the investigation had broken into the office through the window on the east side of the office. They went through the window into the office, and knocked over various chairs and papers, putting the office into a state of disarray. In addition, a clock was broken and the numbers “1621201” were written on one of Smith’s whiteboards in her office. It seems that the subjects then fled the scene through the window through which they entered.
Forensics have recovered blood, gloves, a wasp’s nest, and a blue dry erase marker from the scene. Fingerprints have also been recovered from the office.
When asked for a comment, Smith’s husband requested that all questions be referred to his PR firm, The Tampa Scope. He had previously said he did not approve of the way the University was handling the investigation. He had been given very minimal information about what may have caused his wife’s condition, and was prepared to take legal action if the University did not provide him with the information he requested.