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Borough police arrest professor on charges of trespassing, harassment

Physics professor Herman Verlinde was arrested Saturday and charged with criminal mischief, harassment and criminal trespassing after allegedly repeatedly knocking on the door of the apartment of a woman who refused to let him inside, police said yesterday.

"We received a call from a female who reported that someone was possibly trying to break into her apartment," said Borough Police Lt. Anthony Federico, adding that the incident took place at about 9:08 p.m. "The police arrived and found Mr. Verlinde outside the apartment. They subsequently found out he had been knocking on the person's door. He had been told to leave. He continued knocking on the door, and he subsequently broke one of the window panes on the door."

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"There was no sign that he was trying to break in," Federico said, noting that the window broke because Verlinde was pounding on the door.

Verlinde sustained "some superficial cuts that were slightly bleeding on his right hand" from breaking the window, Federico said. Verlinde was released on his own recognizance, according to a police statement.

Verlinde's court date has been set for Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the Princeton Municipal Court. Verlinde's case also has been referred to the Mercer County Family Court on charges of criminal trespassing under the domestic violence law, Federico said.

Verlinde could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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