AR-15 found in car of Bethune-Cookman student, Florida police say

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Ronald Jacques, 20, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property

By Patricio G. BalonaGatehouse Media Florida

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Bethune-Cookman University student was arrested Sunday night after an AR-15 rifle was found in his vehicle parked near a campus dormitory, police said.

According to a Daytona Beach police report, Ronald Jacques, 20, of Miami Gardens, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property. He was being held Monday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $10,000 bail.

Police Chief Craig Capri said Monday that Jacques has been served suspension papers from the university.

“The student involved in this incident has been suspended and removed from campus pending a disciplinary hearing,” said Clifford Porter, Bethune-Cookman vice president for advancement, in an emailed statement.

A Bethune-Cookman campus security guard, Kimmarie Bouzianis, was patrolling and checking the school campus around 11:30 p.m. Sunday when she came upon Jacques’ Dodge Challenger not properly parked, investigators said.

While investigating the vehicle, Bouzianis saw a black AR-15 in plain view in the passenger’s front seat, a report states.

As the university’s security checked out the vehicle, Jacques walked out of one of the Lee Rhyant dorms and admitted to the security that the vehicle belonged to him and that he knew an AR-15 was in the front seat, police said.

The security guard then detained Jacques and called police. An officer found the rifle in the vehicle with a loaded magazine. One round was chambered, and the magazine had 17 .223-caliber rounds. A shell casing was found in Jacques’ pocket, police said. Jacques declined to talk to police, a report shows.

“B-CU adheres to a strict, no guns policy on campus. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our No. 1 priority at B-CU,” Porter said in the statement.

Patricio G. Balona is a reporter for The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal.

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