A Portland State student who was arrested for allegedly forging sex offender notifications and sending them to members of his former fraternity at OSU, drank heavily and was prone to violent outbursts, according to acquaintances.
Cyrus Andrew Sullivan, a 21-year-old business administration and accounting major at PSU, allegedly used his computer to make fake notices similar to those used by Oregon State Police to warn people that a convicted sex offender is living in their neighborhood.
Sullivan was arrested Monday night at his campus housing apartment by Benton County Sheriff’s officers, who also seized his computer. The sheriff’s office is currently pursuing a warrant to search the computer.
The fake notices contained the names and scanned photographs of members of the OSU Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity and the state seal of Oregon, and were sent to members of several fraternities and sororities at OSU.
Sullivan was charged with first-degree forgery, first-degree possession of a forged instrument, and criminal impersonation. He was taken to the Benton County Jail but was later released.
The forged documents “don’t even look anything like the state police form at all,” according to Benton County Deputy Christopher Gore, who made the arrest. “This guy is basically just mad at the fraternity and wants to get even.”
People who knew Sullivan said he frequently drank heavily and was taking medication for an unknown mental illness, the combination of which made him frequently aggressive and antisocial.
“He drinks while he’s on his meds and then he gets kind of off,” said a TKE member, who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Sullivan also had numerous encounters with Campus Public Safety at PSU. In an October 2003 incident, Sullivan assaulted two CPSO officers, resulting in Portland police arriving on the scene and subduing him with a Taser. He is currently on probation with the Multnomah County Community Corrections stemming from that incident.
Some students preferred to remain anonymous or to not be quoted in this article for fear of potential harassment from Sullivan.
“Cyrus likes to drink and doesn’t like to be told what to do when he’s drinking,” the same TKE member said.
Before coming to PSU, Sullivan was a student at Oregon State University from 2001 to 2003, and a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity there. Sullivan was expelled from the fraternity after one year and “didn’t leave on good terms,” according to Alex Lemieux, the fraternity chapter president.
An anonymous TKE member said that Sullivan reportedly suffered “massive hazing” at the hands of his brothers while at the OSU fraternity, where on one occasion he was duct taped and left in a running shower. The last straw for Sullivan’s membership came when he threw a brick through a window at the OSU TKE fraternity house.
Richard Rust, the chapter historian for Tau Kappa Epsilon at PSU, described Sullivan as having difficulty getting along with other fraternity members and seeming to still carry a grudge for his removal from the OSU chapter. Sullivan was not well liked by his fraternity brothers at OSU, and they may have done things to him that were “outside of the fraternity charter,” Rust said.
According to PSU chapter president Jason Katsoyannos, Sullivan was not “completely forthright” with them when he applied at PSU in spring 2004 about his status in the fraternity. At the time of his application, he did not disclose that he had been kicked out of the OSU chapter.
While it is a common and informal process for a fraternity brother to transfer schools and apply for membership with a new university chapter, due to a bureaucratic error, Sullivan’s name was not removed from the TKE national fraternity’s “scroll” after he was kicked out of the OSU chapter. The “scroll” contains active members’ signatures, which led the PSU TKE to believe, Katsoyannos said, that Sullivan was an active member of the fraternity.
Sullivan became a member of the PSU chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon in spring 2004, but left voluntarily in fall 2004 under the TKE presidency of Tim Schroeder, after an obviously intoxicated Sullivan punched Schroeder during an executive meeting, an anonymous source said.
In another, non-criminal incident that occurred after he was removed from the fraternity, Sullivan sent notices announcing that Tau Kappa Epsilon was to hold a sexually transmitted disease clinic, also featuring the names and photographs of members of the OSU chapter. Rust said that the PSU chapter received the notice, and he forwarded it to the chapter president.
Rust said that he communicated with Sullivan online shortly after the incident and told him, “this is immature and childish, knock it off.”
Katsoyannos said that he received the clinic notice, but had not thoroughly looked at the forged documents and did not communicate with the OSU chapter until yesterday morning.
“I had no idea it would lead to this,” he said.