Sun10202019

Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm

News

MUPD Still Looking for Howard Hall Intruder

default article imageThe University community was on watch last week as a Hawk Alert was e-mailed regarding an unknown individual who attended a class in Howard Hall.

According to the mass e-mail sent out by William McElrath, Chief of the University Police Department, the incident happened around 10:00 pm on March 19.

With his identity unknown at this time, the 5’9”-5’10” male with black curly hair wearing green khaki’s and a black t-shirt pulled his chair closer to a student in the class revealing a sexually explicit message on his cell phone, according to the e-mail.

Currently, the name of the student, the professor and his or her class is not being released to the public; nor is the content of the text message that the individual showed to the student.

However, to protect the safety of the University community, multiple measures are being taken.

“The Hawk safety alert has been sent to several surrounding police departments in an attempt to identify him,” said Jeffrey Layton, Detective Corporal for the the University Police Department. “Criminal complaints could be signed if the victim wishes to appear in court to prosecute it. The subject would be banned from campus and arrested for criminal trespass if he returns.”

Urged to use caution and report anything that looks suspicious at all times, members of the campus community should stay alert and aware. As an added call to action, “members of the campus community are requested to question (or report to the police if necessary) any unknown individuals in classrooms, residential life facilities, or other University areas that are not open to the public,” the e-mail said.

At this point, no students have expressed concern regarding their safety according to Layton. Faculty also are on board, as they have received the Hawk Alert and, “there have been discussions regarding this issue,” Layton said.

A follow-up Hawk Alert hit University inboxes around 1:00 pm on March 21 with a photograph of an alleged suspect. Insisting that all tips will be kept confidential, the e-mail urged students to report the man in the photograph if they knew of his whereabouts and that he was not currently a wanted person.

“We request that you not approach or try to detain him,” the email said. “Simply call the MUPD and provide his location and current direction of travel and clothing description.”

Because they are still trying to identify the suspect, MUPD is still conducting investigations in which no information about the man will be released.

If students feel unsafe or threatened at anytime due to this incident or for any other reason, there is always a solution, Layton said. “We always ask our University community to think about safety and security,” he added. “If something doesn’t seem right, alert someone. Call the police, tell staff or faculty.”

Many University students said that they are confident in the University’s security and protection, but are not surprised when events like this happen.

“How do you honestly prevent something like that? You wouldn’t expect this on our campus, security at Monmouth is pretty good,” said Shelby Whitebread, a senior majoring in marine and environmental biology and policy. “I feel like something like this happens every semester, so I am really not shocked.”

Kayla Buscemi, a senior majoring in business marketing, said that she knew someone in the class. “The kid raised his hand and told the teacher we need to take a break,” Buscemi said. “It was a three hour class, but normally they didn’t take breaks, so the teacher found it weird. The guy left after the break was over.”

Sarah Vander Wall, a sophomore majoring in communication, is a resident assistant in Oakwood Hall. “As far as someone entering our buildings, I know that is highly unlikely, I am not more nervous for our residents,” she said. “This event just stresses the importance of the rules that all RA’s and DA’s have to follow: never let anyone in the building and always sign in guests. Overall, I don’t feel as if there is any added pressure.”

The one message that Layton said he wanted to make clear to the University community was, “If you see something, say something.”

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu