Police arrest two men for sexual harrassment on campus
Police officers arrested an unidentified man Tuesday afternoon in relation to an incident that took place at around 3:20 a.m. Sunday on Alexander Beach. A female student reported that she was grabbed by a man who “reached under her clothes to touch her,” according to a campus-wide safety alert. Public Safety reported this arrest to students in a separate campus safety alert Tuesday evening.
Muhammad Kader was apprehended at 10:25 p.m. Friday evening by Patrol Officer Holly Arana in relation to an incident that took place just before 10 p.m. in Alexander Hall, according to a statement released by Borough Police. A female University employee called Public Safety to report that Kader had tried to kiss her and then touch her, according to the Public Safety crime log. Public Safety did not issue campus safety alerts in connection with this case.
No arrests have been made in connection with the two incidents of lewdness that female students reported to Public Safety early Saturday morning. In these cases, the students reported that a man followed them while exposing his genitals and masturbating.
University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt ’96 noted that Public Safety agreed to let Borough Police take over the investigation of these incidents.
Borough Police Lt. David Dudeck could not be reached for comment.
Deputy Director of Public Safety Charles Davall declined to release the name of the man arrested in connection with the Alexander Beach incident, who is now being held on bail at Borough Police headquarters. Davall noted that Public Safety was not involved in this man’s Tuesday arrest.
University officials were not involved in Kader’s arrest either, according to a Borough Police statement. Kader was then taken to Borough Police headquarters, where he was processed and released on $2,500 bail.
Cliatt said Kader was working as a waiter for an outside company that was catering an event in Alexander Hall on Friday. “At one point, one of the [University] employees spoke to [Kader] about a food need, and she directed him to a different area of Alexander, and he made inappropriate contact with her,” Cliatt explained.
Students on safety
Several students said they have changed their behavior in light of the recent reports of sexual harassment and lewdness. While some said they no longer felt as secure on campus as they used to, others said the recent incidents had not altered their perception of campus safety.
Alissa Boddie ’12 said she used to walk outside by herself on campus as late as 2 a.m., but she has not done so since last weekend’s incidents.
“Anytime when there’s not a lot of people out, I wouldn’t feel safe walking alone,” she said.
But Boddie explained that her new approach could be temporary. If all the culprits from last weekend’s assaults are apprehended, she said she would probably start walking alone again late at night.
“I feel like it’s less safe just because there’s obviously a person out there who hasn’t been caught,” Boddie said in an interview Tuesday before either of the arrests had been announced.
Ashley Dreimiller ’11, meanwhile, said she has not changed her behavior and still believes the campus is safe. Dreimiller walked back to her room alone at around 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and said she “didn’t feel threatened.”
Dreimiller added that her friends seemed similarly undeterred by last weekend’s incidents. “We’ve joked about it a couple of times,” she said. “I don’t think anyone’s too concerned about it.”
Zhenling Lai ’09 said she also has chosen to continue to walk alone at night. “I don’t think [being assaulted] is statistically likely,” she explained.
Jonathan Sarnoff ’12 echoed Lai’s sentiment, saying “Princeton is a relatively safe campus.”
“It seems wrong to extrapolate from one or two incidents,” he added.
Several students, however, said that even before this weekend, they had not thought Princeton was a safe place.
“I’ve actually always thought that the campus wasn’t safe,” Sarah Williams ’11 said. “I’ve just always thought people were ignorant about it.”
Williams added that growing up in New York gave her a level of awareness that other students lack, but she also said she hopes “people become more vigilant” after these incidents.
All students were interviewed before the news broke Tuesday afternoon of the Alexander Hall incident and Kader’s arrest. Students said before this news broke that they were pleased with the University’s response, which included a series of e-mails from Public Safety notifying students about the incidents and providing safety tips.
But some of these tips, which focus on moving around campus safely, don’t address what Chris Schlegel ’09 said is the biggest source of threats to students: a social scene that encourages heavy drinking.
“It sucks, but all these problems just come from the Street,” he said, adding that he is a club member. “Nothing good ever happens when people are getting blacked out.”
Schlegel added that he thinks campus is less safe than many students believe.
“Obviously these incidents were terrible,” he said. “People need to be aware about the sexual assault that occurs between students on a frequent basis.”
“It’s wrong to claim that some guy came to campus and now [sexual assault] is an issue,” he said.