Yale Daily News

On Wednesday afternoon, Yale students reported a series of groping and “inappropriate touching” incidents around Yale’s central campus area.

“A large group of teenage males on bikes riding through campus engaged in disturbing, aggressive, and intimidating behavior,” Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins wrote in an email to the student body on Wednesday night, referring to the incidents as “inappropriate touching.”

Higgins did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking additional information about the incidents.

According to Higgins’s email, the first event occurred around 3:30 p.m. at 344 College St., the address of Old Campus’ Connecticut Hall. One of the bicyclists inappropriately slapped an undergraduate student’s buttocks while she was jogging, leaving physical bruises. 

At around 4:48 p.m., a member of the same group of bicyclists was reported groping the buttocks of another undergraduate student who was walking around Science Hill, near 60 Sachem St., according to Higgins’ email.

According to Higgins, the third incident occurred around 5:39 p.m. in the same area — near the intersection of Hillhouse Avenue and Sachem Street. There, one bicyclist attempted to strike a graduate school student on the buttocks. However, Higgins said the assailant missed and hit her bag instead.

The News spoke to the first of the three victims, who described the incident. She said that while she was on her usual jog around New Haven, she noticed a group of about 20 males who looked like they were about 11-13 years of age near Old Campus. After she initially ignored the group, she said one of the bicyclists swerved away from the group and slapped her buttocks.

“Immediately when it happened I feel my first emotion was like disappointment … did that really just happen to me?” she said. “I didn’t even look at the group as they were going away because I was embarrassed … I kinda immediately started crying … I felt humiliated and really really violated.”

The student said that though the group pulled ahead on the street, they were still in her vicinity. She said that she felt unsafe walking back to her apartment and called a friend to walk her home.

Those with any information pertaining to these incidents can contact YPD at 203-432-4400.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Talat Aman | talat.aman@yale.edu