Emory Police Department (EPD) officers arrested “Coco Dorella,” whose legal name is William Frazier, on Sept. 18 at the Dobbs University Center (DUC) for carrying a loaded weapon onto school property.
Frazier was reported by an Emory staff member, who said that a black male wearing a multicolored mini skirt and a wig had entered the women’s restroom, said Lt. Cheryl Elliott of EPD, adding that the DUC staff had asked him on many occasions not to use the restroom.
EPD officers arrived at the DUC and approached Frazier, a 24-year-old visitor to the University.
EPD officers initially charged Frazier with creating hazardous or offensive conditions, which is a violation of DeKalb County ordinance.
“It was much more of trying to identify what reason he had to be on campus that led us to [the arrest],” Elliott said. “If he had had business on campus or he had not had all the other incidents, we would have just talked to him, asked if he needed to use a unisex bathroom.”
Upon issuing Frazier the citation, officers discovered a Taurus 22-caliber weapon in his purse, along with other various personal items.
Frazier was arrested for carrying a weapon onto school property at 12:30 p.m.
According to EPD reports, the semi-automatic gun had a magazine with seven rounds of ammunition.
Frazier also had a box with approximately 37 to 40 rounds of ammunition.
“We ran a check [on the weapon] and as far as we can tell it was legally obtained,” Elliott said. “He did have in his possession a Georgia firearms license, which allows him to have a weapon.”
According to Elliott, officers did not believe that Frazier intended to use the weapon while on campus, but that he simply had it in his possession.
Elliott further stated that it is Frazier’s right to carry a gun with the proper licensing.
“He didn’t have to say why he had a gun because he had a gun permit,” Elliott said. “He has a right to carry a weapon.”
However, it is a felony to carry a weapon onto school property.
According to Elliott, Frazier has been issued several previous criminal trespass warnings and had been asked numerous times not to use particular women’s restrooms on campus.
Frazier was issued his first criminal trespass warning on July 8 at 8:55 a.m.
Frazier was in the Student Activity and Academic Center lobby at the time, according to EPD reports.
“We made contact with him and he stated that he was visiting a friend at Clairmont,” Elliott said. “He couldn’t identify her or give a specific name or location for her.”
At 9:10 a.m., officers issued Frazier a verbal criminal trespass warning.
Frazier returned to Emory’s campus on July 10 and was observed in the Cox Hall food court.
“We got a report of suspicious activity for a black male wearing a green shirt whose private parts could be seen,” Elliott said of the incident.
According to EPD reports, Frazier was wearing a long aqua-green T-shirt that fell about 10 inches above his knees.
“He did have underwear on, but he was still exposed,” Elliott said. “Officers checked with him and advised him at that particular time that he needed to leave the University and he complied.”
EPD received another report on July 13 from a DUC employee who stated that he was not sure if Frazier was supposed to be in the area.
EPD officers responded to the DUC at 8:27 a.m. and the student employee advised officers that he had seen Frazier attempt to enter the women’s restroom at the location.
EPD officers located Frazier off campus and issued him another temporary criminal trespass warning.
On Sept. 18, after numerous incidents, Frazier was arrested by Officer L. Randall of EPD and charged with a felony offense.
Elliott further stated that Frazier’s prior behavior and incidents on campus were inappropriate, and that EPD officers never found Frazier to have any particular business on campus.
EPD also had not previously searched Frazier for possession of a weapon and do not know if he brought a weapon onto school property during any previous incidents.
“If we just contact someone on campus that doesn’t give us the right to search them,” Elliott said of EPD protocol. “We don’t have the right to check anyone unless we’re arresting them.”
Elliott said that Frazier does have a right to have a weapon in his possession, and that “he had gone through all the correct legal procedures.”
The issues, Elliott said, is that bringing a weapon onto a school zone is a state offense.
Elliott said that EPD officers had no particular reason to search Frazier during previous interactions, and that Frazier was always cooperative when asked to leave Emory’s campus.
Frazier is a resident of Decatur, Ga. He is 5-foot-11, weighs approximately 170 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
Frazier has worn a wig and women’s clothing on previous occasions.
“We will be keeping up with him,” Elliott said. “At this particular time, he has been trespassed from Emory campus.”
Frazier’s bond was set at $3,000 and he remains incarcerated at this time.
His preliminary hearing has been set for Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
— Contact Tasha Posid