The Yale Police Department arrested a man Tuesday who allegedly made sexual advances towards a male student in the basement bathroom of Woolsey Hall.
Donald Hall, a 41-year-old New Haven resident, was booked yesterday on charges of disorderly conduct and public indecency after the student reported that Hall approached him and exposed himself earlier that afternoon, YPD Lt. Michael Patten said. Hall remained in the bathroom after the incident and was arrested shortly afterwards, Patten said.
“He approached the student who came down to use the bathroom and made some inappropriate advances towards him,” Patten said.
Hall, Patten said, has no affiliation with the University, and did not appear to know the student. Patten declined to release the student’s name, but said he was an undergraduate at Yale.
This is not the first time that police have responded to reports of crime in the basement of Woolsey Hall. A male undergraduate student was mugged in a Woolsey basement bathroom last March after he was cornered in his stall by William Little, a 20-year-old New Haven resident.
Patten told the News last March that Little demanded money from the student, but did not know whether or not the suspect was armed.
Despite the robbery in March, members of the Yale administration said they feel yesterday’s incident was isolated. University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said the University does not currently plan to close Woolsey Hall or other Yale buildings to the public.
“For that to happen, it would have to be a pretty significant incident,” she said.
But Keneisha Sinclair ’09 said she was shocked that the student was approached on Yale property in daylight hours.
“You feel you’re always safe when you’re in a Yale building, but I guess that’s not true,” she said.
Although Sinclair said she thinks the Yale Police Department and Yale security services do a good job of securing the campus, she said she thinks many parts of campus are vulnerable to crime because of their easy accessibility.
Lily Dorman-Colby ’09 said she thinks there are no significant dangers associated with Yale’s buildings. She said she thinks buildings like Commons and lecture halls should remain open to the public to send the message that Yale cares about its relationship with the community.
“I think that there are a lot of small incidents that happen that make Yalies feel like New Haven is unsafe, but that’s unfortunate because I don’t think these incidents are representative of the whole [situation],” she said.