Nudity, threats and destruction of property are not usually associated with libraries.
But on Wednesday night, a student at N.C. State University shocked many of his peers by running through the school’s D.H. Hill Library naked, thrashing books onto the floor.
Seth Pace, a freshman at the university, pulled about 1,000 books from its shelves as onlookers caught footage of the scene with cameras and video recorders.
Matthew Marchese, a junior at NCSU, said he was studying on the eighth floor of the library, when he heard loud noises from the floor above him.
“When I got up the stairs there were people out there looking at this guy — this guy was completely naked,” he said.
Many students thought the incident was a prank until Pace became violent and threatened other students.
Marchese said Pace threw a stool at one of the students who tried to calm him down.
“He asked us if we wanted to die — he asked us what we where doing there,” Marchese said.
About 15 students witnessed the scene on the ninth floor of the library.
The incident lasted for about 20 minutes before campus police arrived and found Pace inside a women’s restroom, Marchese said.
“They couldn’t find his clothes, and they carried him out on a stretcher with a blanket over him,” Marchese said.
Melody Hunter-Pillion, spokeswoman for Rex Hospital in Raleigh, said Pace was admitted to the hospital and released the same night.
Hunter-Pillion declined to comment further on his condition due to privacy restrictions.
Videos of Pace were posted on websites such as YouTube but were taken down by the end of the week.
Mick Kulikowski, spokesman for NCSU, said Pace was not arrested on criminal charges because the case will be dealt with through the student judiciary.
The university cited Pace with simple assault and indecent exposure, and he will have to stand in front of the student judicial board to have his case heard, Kulikowski said.
The extent of the damage Pace caused in the library is unknown, he said.
“I think people are taken aback; they don’t really know what to think of it,” Marchese said.
Officials also declined to comment on whether Pace was under the influence.
Kulikowski said he doesn’t think the incident relates to streaking traditions that other campuses, like UNC-CH experience around exam time.
Every semester at UNC-CH, a group of students relieve the stress of finals by running through Davis Library and the Undergraduate Library wearing nothing but masks.
Paynudeh Allen, a senior communications major at UNC, said streaking during exams, as a joke, is acceptable.
“I don’t really think it’s a problem because it’s such a short thing,” Allen said.
Contact the State & National Editor at email@example.com.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.