Update on Annex Assault, Incident Raises Safety Concerns with Students
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 07:11
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.