Weather Forecast


University of Jamestown dean of students charged with simple assault

Gary Van Zinderen, dean of students at the University of Jamestown, was charged with simple assault Monday. (Submitted photo)

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The dean of students at the University of Jamestown, charged with simple assault Monday in Jamestown Municipal Court, was granted a leave from the university to resolve the matter.

Gary Van Zinderen, 44, had his initial appearance in municipal court Monday on the simple assault charge. He is free on a personal recognizance bond and no new court date has been scheduled, according to information from the Jamestown Municipal Court Clerk’s office.

Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger said Van Zinderen was arrested Saturday afternoon after the police were called Friday evening to a residence owned by Van Zinderen and his wife, who said she had been assaulted by Van Zinderen.

Edinger said the call was a domestic violence call and since there was evidence of an injury police were required to make an arrest. “There was an alleged altercation and some bruising to the victim’s leg,” he said.

Tena Lawrence, vice president of marketing and communications for University of Jamestown, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“The University of Jamestown is aware of the allegations filed against Dean of Students, Gary Van Zinderen. Dean Van Zinderen has requested and been granted leave to allow him adequate personal time to resolve this personal matter. The University does not comment on matters of a personal nature. The University will review the status of allegations at the end of the leave period, being mindful of Dean Van Zinderen’s campus responsibilities.”

According to a police report, Van Zinderen arrived at the house late Friday afternoon to pick up his children for the weekend. His wife had a suitcase for the children sitting by the front door. Van Zinderen allegedly opened the front door to grab the suitcase after his wife asked him not to step into the house. In the process of pulling the suitcase out the door, the suitcase allegedly struck his wife in the right thigh and later on bruises appeared.

The report said on Saturday afternoon a police officer went to another residence where Van Zinderen is currently residing to talk to him about the incident. Van Zinderen said he grabbed the suitcase and that it was possible the suitcase hit his wife. After talking with Van Zinderen, the police officer placed him under arrest for simple assault.

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454