An alert from Montclair State University’s Police Department on March 10 disconcerted the university community.
Chief Paul M. Cell sent out an email stating that a male was seen exhibiting his genitals on the first floor of the University Hall lobby. The incident was reported by four individuals at 10:44 a.m., who described the suspect as tall, wearing a red sweatshirt and blackish-grey sweatpants.
Maria Hofmann, a junior journalism major, expressed her reaction to the incident.
“My initial reaction to getting the text about the exposure was surprised,” Hofmann said. “I was just in the university [hall] building. I couldn’t believe it happened so close to where I was.”
At 11:45 a.m., the male was located and taken into custody by campus police.
The suspect was identified as Elisha Ford, 31, from Lindenwold, New Jersey, a non-member of the Montclair State community. Ford was released the same day and charged with lewdness. On March 24, he has a pending court date that will be held at Little Falls Municipal Court.
Tyler Harris, a senior television and digital media (TVDM) major, expressed how he felt after the police handled the case.
“I left class and saw the police cars with the suspect inside,” Harris said. ”I was relieved to see that the suspect had been captured and that campus police had done a good job of tracking the suspect down.”
Hofmann also provided details after witnessing the arrest.
“When I walked out of the building, I saw the gentleman with his hands behind his back and a crowd watching from afar,” Hofmann said. “There were three police cars gathered and soon the man was escorted away into custody.”
Capt. Kieran Barrett of the University Police provided further information regarding this case.
“Any statement would be part of the case which will be heard in Little Falls Court and can be released at the discretion of the prosecutor,” Barrett said.
More information and updates on this case will be released after Ford’s court date.