Student discovers intruder in Swing

At 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Hayley Carpenter ’11 returned to her Swing Space suite from Thanksgiving break to find that an intruder had moved into her room. Yet despite a buildingwide search, the Yale Police Department was unable to find the trespasser.

Carpenter was with her mother, having just come back from her home in New York, when she entered Swing Space to see vulgarities — “and other juvenile things,” she added — written on the white boards and walls of the third floor.

“At that point I knew something was weird,” she said.

Carpenter had cleaned her common room prior to leaving for break last Wednesday. When she arrived on Saturday, however, the room was in shambles. The refrigerator had been pulled out from the wall and there was food all over the floor.

Upon seeing the mess, Carpenter said she ran to her bedroom to check to see if her other possessions were safe. When she turned the knob, the door would not budge.

She pushed harder. The door opened a crack. And she saw a hand reach out.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I didn’t consider the possibility that someone was in there. I thought it was just furniture blocking the door.”

Carpenter said she screamed out to her mother, who was standing at the entrance to her suite: “Oh my God! Someone’s in my room!”

The two ran down the hallway, away from the room, and called the YPD.

Carpenrter said the YPD arrived within five minutes. Calhoun Master Jonathan Holloway said in an e-mail that the YPD searched the building room by room. But, according to YPD spokesman Lt. Steven Woznyk, the YPD did not find the man.

“Members from the department’s Investigative Services Unit continue to probe the incident in hopes of developing further information,” Woznyk said.

Woznyk said the department was “unable to determine at this time how long the person was actually on the premises,” or how he got into Swing Space.

But Carpenter had a vague idea: she said she forgot to lock her door when she left. Holloway said in an interview that the YPD sweep of the building found more than a dozen suites with unlocked doors.

In an e-mail to Calhoun two hours after the incident, Holloway urged his students to “KEEP YOUR SUITE DOORS LOCKED!”

Luckily, Carpenter said that she did not find anything missing in her suite, and Holloway added that as far as he was aware, no students reported anything stolen. Holloway also said the minor vandalism caused by the trespasser — including “busted” exit signs — can be easily fixed.

In early October last year, a string of burglaries in Silliman and Timothy Dwight Colleges similarly showed no signs of forced entry, which led the YPD to increase its presence in the area. But, unlike summer 2007, which saw 128 instances of Part I crimes — which include both violent crimes and property crimes — there were only 65 instances in the summer of 2008.

There have been fewer notifications of on-campus robberies so far this year than there had been at this time in 2007.


  • An Idle Observer

    You are smart enough to be accepted to an attend an Ivy League university, but dumb enough to NOT lock your door? Please turn your boot upside down and read the instructions on the heel. This will aid in the removal of urine which has been building up within.

  • H.

    It would also help if the university installed locks on our room doors in addition to the suite doors. Although I may always lock are suite door, there is no guarantee that my other suitemates will remember to lock the door when they leave too. This puts my possessions at risk because of someone else. Completely unfair and stupid of the university.

    Also, room locks would prevent your suitemates from "borrowing without returning," God forbid I accuse of them stealing.

    Alternatively, student safes in each room or locks on our wardrobes would also work, especially in the case of doubles. Most universities are equipped with these. I don't understand why Yale is so lax about personal security. Yes, it encourages trust, but it also makes stealing extremely easy.

  • Anonymous


  • Brown Bandie Endlessly Entertained

    I was directed to this article and am procrastinating furiously.

    Anyway, what #51 said about other bands finding a better balance, at least in the case of Princeton, is clearly ridiculous. With only minimal offense intended towards the YPMB, Princeton's band is generally considered to be far more outrageous with their antics (try googling Princeton Band Citadel).

    In reference to the incident itself I feel quite sorry for the YPMB. Even had they spelled out the obscenity on the field, I think this censorship is over the top. The majority of people at football games are students and alumni, who clearly should be capable of dealing with profanity. And honestly if you bring children to a college football game, its beyond wishful thinking to hope they wont be exposed to profanity.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe if you told them students can lock their rooms at HAHHVARD they'd hustle to match. This is how we got a better financial aid program - and indeed, this is how we finally got 2-ply toilet paper!

  • Yale67

    Re: #2-- "I may always lock are suite door"? Aaaagh.

  • ?

    Dear H (#2)-

    Why are you living with people you think would steal from you? You can choose your suitemates, you know.

  • Vigilante

    I cannot wait for the day when Chief Perrotti sends us an email about a robber sent to the hospital in critical condition. Maybe then will people learn.

  • Anonymous


    It's not that you think the people you live would steal from you. It's that they might leave the door open when the go to the bathroom or to a friend's room or to class or something, which means other people could steal your stuff.

  • #6

    Dear #8-

    I was responding to the following from H (#2)'s post: "Also, room locks would prevent your suitemates from "borrowing without returning," God forbid I accuse of them stealing." I understand the concerns about leaving the suite door unlocked. But wanting room locks so your suitemates won't steal stuff is different.

  • Hieronymus

    #4: YOU scored 2-ply?! Oh, man, I am SO (apologies in advance for the following prejudicial and ignorantly bigoted term) gypped!

    Web cams are good, btw… So is pepper spray (esp. in Ne'HAYven).

  • Not a perfectionist, but…

    "I may always lock are suite door"

    :'( why??

  • Joe A

    Maybe the inhabitant phoned the police as a bold young lady was pushing in the door. The Police whisked the man with the hand away to safety.Wanted posters of an artists rendition of what the girl will look like in ten years will be posted in Liquor stores.

  • H.

    I apologize for the grammatical error. It should say "our." You can't choose your suitemates freshman year. Also not everyone is lucky enough to room with everyone they want because there are so many different suite configurations. In addition many suites get transfer students from other residential colleges as well as transfers from other universities.

    In addition you can be friends with someone who you only realize makes a horrible suitemate AFTER living with them.

  • Should have slept with your SAC president?


    Sounds like you got burned by room draw.

  • H.


    Who said I was talking about myself? Besides, I did get the best room in the draw. =)

    And there is no such thing as an SAC president… it's SAC chair. And the SAC doesn't handle rooming anyways…

    I'm just pointing out it wouldn't hurt to have two levels of room security.

  • Zai

    "It would also help if the university installed locks on our room doors in addition to the suite doors."

    Swing Space does, actually, have locks on room doors--they're a little different than most because the switch is on the edge of the door. Most people don't keep them in the lock-automatically position, though, because since you don't need a key to manually lock/unlock them, it's easy to get locked out.