Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, there have been more cases of lewdness mounting on the campus. University Police still have no leads, but haven’t ruled out the possibility of a student organization being responsible. These incidents have been occurring since the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.
This past Sunday night, Montclair State police sent out an email informing the university community about a report of an act of indecent exposure outside of Fenwick Hall. The email, which came from the chief of police, Paul Cell, gave details on the incident.
A female student who was sitting inside Fenwick Hall’s lobby noticed a male outside the building seemingly exposing his private parts. In her account, the victim revealed that the perpetrator wanted her to see his actions because he knocked on the window to get her attention. The incident bears a resemblance to the previous cases as the perpetrator ended up running off to an unknown location after the act.
Some might think that with all the cameras on campus, it would be easy to find the person carrying out these actions, but there are always ways around them. “Cameras can many times provide a false sense of security and serve to aid in the investigation but not always the prevention of crime,” Captain Kieran Barrett said. “The criminal looks for ways to bypass cameras or where cameras may not be present. With that said, we review any footage that may be of help in an investigation to help identify those responsible and this case would be no exception.”
This incident adds to a series of others which happened this past year. The first two reports came in on the same night within minutes. At 11 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2016, a male was seen exposing himself at the rear of Hawk Crossings Falconidae and Accipiter complex. At 11:24 p.m., another similar call was received by the Montclair State police about an individual who appeared to be masturbating outside a window of a firstfloor room in Count Basie Hall at the Village in Little Falls.
The third case happened right after the end of this past fall semester, on Dec. 20. A white male, wearing a Captain America t-shirt and dark clothing, was exposing himself and possibly masturbating at the rear of the Hawk Crossings Falco Complex.
UPD is doing everything they can to find the perpetrator of the most recent case of lewdness on campus.
“We are working to increase visibility of officers as well as active patrols in attempt to deter such crimes, recognizing as well that the creative criminal may adapt to our visibility,” Barrett said. “To counter that, there are also less overt methods we utilize in an attempt to identify and prosecute the individual or individuals responsible.”
As all the cases are still under investigation, UPD is counting on the community’s help and involvement to bring an end to these crimes. Anyone with information can reach the University Police Department at 973-655-5222 or their email at firstname.lastname@example.org.