A Hamden, Conn., resident was arrested on Cross Campus Tuesday afternoon after harassing people walking past the steps of Sterling Memorial Library.
The man, Xavier Bolden, was arrested near the gate of Berkeley College’s North Court after an altercation with police that lasted over half an hour. As Bolden asked to be Tasered, shouted profanity and rapped about his genitalia, onlookers surrounded the police operation and some even took pictures. Four students interviewed said although they were startled by the incident, they did not feel that they were in danger.
“It was kind of scary because I hadn’t seen something like that incident before in New Haven,” Kavita Kapadia ’13 said. “But there were enough cops there handling it that it didn’t seem like a threat to the students.”
A Yale Dining employee called the police at 11:02 a.m. to report that Bolden was harassing her in Commons and “exhibiting bizarre behavior,” Yale Police Department spokesman Lt. Steven Woznyk said. By the time police arrived, Bolden had left, so they followed him to Cross Campus and apprehended him there.
Several students reported that Bolden stood in front of Sterling Library before police arrived, claiming to be a Yale student looking for a wife. One student told the News that the man was seen carrying a can of Natural Ice beer.
Surrounded by over a dozen YPD and New Haven Police Department officers, Bolden was ultimately taken into custody at around 11:45 a.m. and charged with breach of peace, threatening, public drinking and interfering with police, Woznyk said.
When police arrived on the scene, they initially had trouble getting Bolden under control, Chris Lash ’11 said. Lash, who was leading a tour group of prospective students at the time, said that the altercation did not seem serious at first, though he saw one officer grappling with Bolden.
But while his tour group stood outside of Sterling, Lash said two YPD cruisers pulled up in front of the library and four more officers got out to assist with Bolden’s arrest. After he was subdued, Bolden began yelling at the officers and the crowd of onlookers.
“I go to this school, get your f–king hands off me,” he yelled as the officers tried to keep him in place. “Break my arm please, break my arm please. I’m about to get paid, I’m about to get paid.”
Lash said that his tour group took the incident in stride. After ushering everyone into Sterling, he told them that he had never seen anything like the incident before, and that it was not typical of Yale, he said.
“They were really good about it,” he said. “One person even joked that it was great that security responded so quickly.”
As onlookers stood by, the police handcuffed Bolden’s wrists and ankles and belted his legs together before pushing him into a van. Woznyk said he could not provide any more details on what transpired after Bolden was taken into custody because the case is now pending in court.
The YPD has 87 officers.