VA tragedy evokes memories of Fairfield hostage crisis
The deaths of 32 college students and faculty during Monday?s Virginia Tech massacre in many ways recall the hostage crisis at Fairfield University five years ago.In 2002, then 24-year-old Fairfield graduate Patrick Arbelo returned to the school and took 26 students and one teacher hostage for seven hours. Arbelo claimed to have a bomb and sought a public platform for his anti-Semitic beliefs. All of Arbelo?s hostages were released unharmed.The teacher taken hostage, Dr. Elizabeth Dreyer, says that though no one can expect a situation like Fairfield or Virginia Tech?s, it is very important to be prepared for the possibility of one. Dreyer says for the past two weeks, before the Virginia Tech shootings, administrators held meetings to evaluate Fairfield University?s emergency planning. She says the school is still making sure it is prepared for the possibility of another violent crisis on campus. Arbelo was found not guilty of kidnapping by reason of insanity.