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Update on Annex Assault, Incident Raises Safety Concerns with Students

Multimedia Editor

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 07:11

Annex

An empty lobby monitor seat in the Annex, photo by Christina Downs, Editor-in-chief

On Friday at 3:41 p.m. the Howard University Police Department issued a crime alert about a sexual assault in the Bethune Annex.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the attack happened at 1:15 p.m. when 19-year-old Demarco Myles walked into the Annex and assaulted a student at knifepoint.
Myles was arrested and has been charged with sexual assault in the first degree for Friday’s incident.  He has also been charged with intent to commit a first degree sexual assault while armed.  According to police, Myles forced his way inside the apartment of a woman in Northeast D.C. in mid-October where he attempted to assault her.  When she resisted, she was stabbed multiple times.
 According to the update sent by Campus Police the following day additional steps will be taken to secure residence halls and they also encourage residents to keep their doors locked.  Counseling services will be available for all who need it, the update that was sent to students’ bison email accounts on Saturday also read. 
 Despite these measures, students are still shaken after the incident. 
Ashley McLean, a sophomore Biology major, was unsettled by it. 
“It’s really scary to know that someone was even able to sneak into the Annex,” she said.  “That dorm is considered one of the safest on campus, so it puts students like me on edge because if the ‘safest’ dorm isn’t safe, then I never feel safe.”
 Sophomore Marketing major and Annex resident Raven Harrison feels the same way.
 “I think it is a shame that we are not safe in our own dorms,” she said. “You would think this is an issue we would have off campus.”  
Harrison feels that students may need to begin taking matters into their own hands.  
“Even though campus is supposed to protect us, we still need to take initiative in protecting ourselves and being mindful of our surroundings.”
 Residence Life declined comment on the day of the incident because of what they said was a lack of information.
Campus Police refused to comment on any details of the case and referred The Hilltop to the Office of Communications. 
Later that evening of the incident at 9 p.m. the university provided a response.
“Earlier today we became aware of a troubling incident in the Bethune Annex. The Metropolitan Police Department with support from the Department of Public Safety are investigating an alleged assault; it is premature to further discuss this case. We will provide counseling and related services to students as needed. We also encourage students to secure their doors at all times,” provided via Kerry-Ann Hamilton, the University’s spokesperson.
The Annex houses 550 female undergraduate students.

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1 comments

A concerned student Amber West
Mon Nov 5 2012 16:05
Dear Miss Hill and Hilltop Editor-in-Chief Miss Downs,

When writing a "BREAKING NEWS" article and putting it on the front page you should always have your facts straight especially when it come to sensitive topics such as this one. First, your title is misleading. There is nothing that you said that cannot be found on a social networking site. Second, the first two paragraphs in the article are inaccurate. The first paragraph says "On Friday at 3:41 p.m. the Howard University Police Department issued a crime alert about a sexual assault in the Bethune Annex." The crime alert actually states that "The Metropolitan Police Department and the Howard University Department of Public Safety are investigating a report of an assault that occurred inside the Bethune Annex." The next paragraph is worded wrong, "According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the attack happened at 1:15 p.m. when 19-year-old Demarco Myles walked into the Annex and assaulted a student at knifepoint." You are making it seem like he walked into the Annex at 1:15 then walked into her room and assaulted her. This has not been confirmed by the police, so you can not make assumptions as a reporter for a newspaper, especially on that is read throughout the community. The crime alert states "On Friday, November 2, 2012 at approximately 1:18 pm a student reports that an unknown male subject entered her room and assaulted her. The student reported that the subject displayed a knife. The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction." Please Miss Hill before you put your name on an article you should makes sure all your facts are accurate and Miss Downs, as an Editor-in-Chief, you have to question the validity of the article. Although it is a timely article, you should have held the story back before publishing something that can be easily found on a social networking site. We know how reliable those sources can be. Thank you for you time. I hope you take my comments into consideration.

Thank you,





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