Repeated dormitory intruder infiltrates Lafayette, security response delayed – Washington Square News
Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual harassment.
A stranger not affiliated with NYU gained unauthorized access to Lafayette Hall and harassed two residents in their room on November 3. After the incident was reported to the dormitory authorities, security did not arrive for over an hour. Meanwhile, the intruder refused to leave, made sexually suggestive comments, and lay down in one of their beds.
The intruder had previously been banned from the building after the same Lafayette resident who helped them enter the building last week ushered them into it two years ago, according to a senior member of Lafayette staff.
Knock on the door
At 8:30 p.m. on November 3, CAS sophomore Mariana Trimble and junior Maya Orey, who share a suite at Lafayette Hall, were preparing dinner when a girl knocked on their front door.
[Read more: âCan I lay in bed with you?â: How a stranger got into my dorm room]
âWe opened it, and this girl was there who asked for feminine hygiene products and if she could use our bathroom,â Orey told WSN. “Assuming that she lives down the hall and is a student at NYU, we let her in and let her use the bathroom.” “
Trimble and Orey wanted to be good neighbors, but they soon began to suspect that the person in their dorm was not a NYU student at all. The two noticed that the details provided by the intruder did not match – she claimed to be a student from Tisch struggling with roommate issues, but didn’t seem to know that Tisch is an art school.
This situation is really bizarre. I don’t know if she’s going to NYU.
– Maya Orey, SMS November 3 to Mariana Trimble
Trimble and Orey said they cooked the intruder a meal and tried to comfort her. Trimble then left the living room for a few minutes, leaving Orey alone with the stranger. At this point, the girl started making sexually suggestive comments.
âShe started commenting on my appearance and asking about my sexuality, and then she asked me if I wanted to stay in bed with her,â Orey said. âIt definitely put me on edge. I texted Mariana: ‘This situation is really weird. I don’t know if she’s going to NYU.
The intruder then left the room, saying she was going to “solve her roommate problem.” Trimble and Orey called their neighbors, Gabriel Murjani and Ryan Chan, to their room as they did not feel safe that the intruder would return.
She returned some time later, after Murjani and Chan arrived. She continued to make comments that made Trimble and Orey uncomfortable, got aggressive with a third neighbor who asked her to leave the room, then fell asleep on one of their beds.
Chan suspected the intruder of passing out because she was intoxicated.
âShe was definitely on drugs,â Chan said. “I don’t know what gender, but she was really mad and brought two cigarettes when she was in the room.”
A late reply
At around 10 p.m., Trimble, Orey, and their neighbors began contacting their residence assistant and the NYU Campus Security Officer on duty in the Lafayette Lobby. The security guard, who was already aware of an intruder in the building, had informed the NYU Housing incident response team.
WSN learned that NYU also called the New York City Police Department when the intruder was first seen sneaking into the residence. Neither NYU security nor the police were able to find the intruder and appear to have completed their search by the time Trimble and Orey contacted Campus Safety.
âWhen the NYPD arrived, they couldn’t locate the intruder,â NYU spokeswoman Shonna Keogan wrote to WSN. “Both [Campus Safety officers] who came as reinforcement visited the building and could not determine its location in the building either.
Although some of the dorm’s RAs responded earlier, it took over an hour for the dedicated NYU response team to arrive.
In emails obtained by WSN, a senior member of Lafayette staff told Trimble that Campus Safety took longer than usual to arrive as they were busy responding to other incidents on campus. The staff member did not specify which incidents he was referring to.
âThey had to move away from existing concerns to get to Lafayette,â the staff member wrote. “It was a question of competition priorities and distance, I’m afraid.”
Murjani said he asked the security guard who the intruder was and how she got into the building.
âThe security guard said she wasn’t from NYU at all,â Murjani said. “He said he tried to prevent her from entering, but since he couldn’t leave his post and he couldn’t use physical means, there was nothing he could do about it.”
Repeat offenders escape
The reason they knew more about Lafayette was because they had been here before.
– Lafayette Hall staff member, email to Maya Orey and Mariana Trimble
Keogan said CCTV footage showed an unidentified Lafayette resident sneaking the intruder past security in the lobby. In his email, the senior Lafayette staff member mentioned that the same Lafayette resident brought the same person into the residence two years ago and that they had already been banned from the building.
“The reason they knew more about Lafayette is because they had been here before and probably spent time with the Lafayette resident on Wednesday before wandering the hallways and finally finding your room,” the member said. from Lafayette staff in their email to Trimble and Orey. “I am working closely with management to confront the Lafayette resident as we speak.”
A Lafayette administrator later told Orey that the intruder “escaped” after campus security escorted her to the Lafayette Hall.
Chan believes more security guards should be present in the residences to help students more quickly, especially in buildings like Lafayette which are disconnected from the center of the NYU campus.
âWhen the intruder finally entered and started looking at all the dorms, the security guard at the front door couldn’t do anything,â Chan said. “A second security guard who can actually get around would be more helpful.”
Keogan said the infiltrator was declared persona non grata and campus security was tasked with remaining vigilant.
Mariana Trimble contributes to the WSN Opinion Page. She wrote her own account of the incident in a separate article and did not see this article until it was published.
Contact Arnav Binaykia at [emailÂ protected] and Kristian Burt at [emailÂ protected]