UConn still has its bacon jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese, but the student who turned it into a national sensation is no longer enrolled at the school and has been banned from university property, according to university and police officials.
The story was first published just after 3 p.m. Wednesday by the Associated Press. The Daily Campus independently confirmed the AP report.
The student, 19-year-old Luke Gatti of Bayville, New York, has been facing charges of first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of the peace since the Oct. 4 incident in the Student Union. His enrollment at the university ended Wednesday, university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. It remains unknown whether Gatti was expelled or withdrew from the university.
“Federal student privacy regulations prevent us from discussing circumstances of an individual student’s departure,” Reitz said.
Reitz said while specifics could not be discussed, most student code violations may result in “penalties that range from probation to expulsion.” Due to federal privacy laws, she could not confirm whether the disciplinary process was underway when Gatti’s enrollment was ended.
Gatti is also banned from all university property “as a result of the actions the night he was arrested,” according to UConn Deputy Chief of Police Hans Rhynhart.
Still facing the two criminal charges, Gatti will be arraigned at the Rockville Superior Court on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m.
Gatti rose to national prominence thanks to a video posted on YouTube that went viral. The video showed Gatti in a confrontation with the manager at the Union Street Market in UConn’s Student Union when market workers refused to serve him bacon jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese. He was allegedly intoxicated during the incident and physically provoked the manager multiple times before being tackled by one of the Union Street Market’s chefs. Gatti was then handcuffed and escorted out by a UConn police officer.
The video of the confrontation, which was more than nine minutes long, received tens of millions of views before being taken down due to copyright infringement. Gatti posted a follow-up video with an apology to the Union Street Market employees, which garnered nearly 400,000 views.
The chef who tackled Gatti, Bill McKay, wrote in an exclusive letter to the editor published in The Daily Campus that he forgives Gatti for the incident.
“Forgiveness does not mean I believe Gatti shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions,” McKay wrote in the letter. “He should, and he will. But people need to stop beating him over the head.”