A man who allegedly entered a Morse College bathroom and attempted to observe a showering student was arrested Saturday evening by University Police.
The Morse student, who wished to remain anonymous, said she heard the man come into the bathroom but that he did not respond when she addressed him.
“When I opened the shower curtain, I could see a hat,” the student said. “Some guy whom I had never seen before walked out. He didn’t seem to be afraid when he left.”
The student said University Police officer James Simler was involved in the arrest of the alleged assailant after one of her suitemates phoned the police.
“He was arrested in front of Yorkside Pizza at around 8:30 p.m., extremely soon after we called,” she said.
Simler said he could not comment on the incident. University Police officials who speak to the media were unavailable to discuss the case over the weekend.
Though she does not know the identity of the man, the Morse student said police told her that he is a graduate student. She said the police informed her that a man who fit the description of the intruder had been involved in a similar incident before.
Morse Master Frank Keil said he was reluctant to comment on the incident because he had not yet received an official report from the police but urged students to be cautious in an e-mail to the college.
“This sort of event would not have occurred if the entryway and suite doors had been kept closed and locked. Please close all entryway and suite doors that you find propped open and report any that do not lock,” Keil wrote in the e-mail. “In addition, do not feel the least bit shy asking strangers if you can help them and who they are here to see.”
Keil said there are several actions students can take to prevent intrusions into the college, such as not taping the entryway doors so they remain open.
“The main thing is that people just get relaxed and don’t have their keys. It’s not my impression that this is happening because people are being let in,” Keil said.
In an attempt to solve this problem, Keil said the rubber mats in front of the entryways were removed because students were using them to prop open the doors. He said the measure seemed to help alleviate the problem.
The Morse student said her entryway was not propped open, but that the intruder may have gained access to her floor from another door.
The Morse student said she encouraged other students who face intruders to report them to the police as soon as possible and to take note of the person’s appearance.
“I urge people to not hesitate to call,” she said. “Take a good look at the person’s face. One thing that I think is a problem is that we think it’s all outsiders. The thing is that you never know.”