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Student Crossing River Attacked on Saturday

By Zareena Hussain
Associate News Editor

A Wellesley student was assaulted as she crossed the Harvard bridge early Saturday morning. This was the second assault against a student in three weeks.

The student, whose name has not been released, was attacked at 2:40 a.m. as she was crossing the bridge towards MIT, according to a Campus Police bulletin.

The victim first noticed the assailant following her as she started to cross, the bulletin said. He followed her for nearly the full length of the bridge.

As she neared MIT, the victim was grabbed by the assailant and put into a headlock. The victim escaped by punching the suspect in the side, breaking free, and running away. The assailant fled west along Memorial Drive, the bulletin said.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, wearing a white baseball cap, light blue jean jacket, and a white T-shirt.

After the incident, the victim ran through the Infinite Corridor to a friend's room in East Campus to call the police and report the incident, said Chief of the CPs Anne P. Glavin.

The assault was outside Campus Police jurisdiction and was further referred to the Massachusetts State Police for investigation, Glavin said.

Any witness to the crime is encouraged to contact the State Police with any information about the incident.

Another student assault occurred near Institute property over Columbus Day weekend. It took place near 240 Albany Street, the location of the MIT-subsidized Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholic Rehabilitation shelter.

A female student was grabbed that Monday morning by a lone white male after he asked the victim for spare change.

Incidents not included in statistics

While this incident involved a student and occurred in the vicinity of the Institute, it will not be included in the crime statistics issued in the yearly Campus Police report and reported in the Safety, Security, and Crime Prevention Handbook for MIT, Glavin said.

The assault is, however, included in state police statistics because of its occurrence in state police jurisdiction, Glavin said.

This is one of several assaults against students and workers taking place near MIT property that are not included in the statistics, which are often used as a barometer for the safety of living on a given campus. The main reason for exclusion from statistics includes the classification of incidents as "off campus."

The assault over Columbus Day weekend went unreported in CP statistics, because it took place in Cambridge Police jurisdiction, said Campus Police Sergeant Cheryl deJong Vossmer.

The beating of a student on the sidewalk outside Random Hall last October also went unreported in campus police crime statistics because the sidewalk was considered outside of Campus Police jurisdiction.

The mugging of an MITemployee on Wadsworth Street outside building E40 in January of last year was not reported in campus crime statistics, because of it was considered off-campus and within Cambridge Police jurisdiction.

Crime prevention important

The informational bulletin issued by the Campus Police also included recommendations to students for keeping safe on and off campus.

These recommendations included using Saferide or walking in large groups and knowing the location of emergency telephones on campus.

The Campus Police also publishes the Safety, Security, and Crime Prevention Handbook for MIT yearly to inform students of crime prevention resources on campus. Hard copies are available at Campus Police Headquarters. The handbook is also web-accessible at http://web.mit.edu/cp/www/.