The Montclair State University community is shocked after the police department reported a strange crime involving masked males and the arrest of two current students over the weekend.
According to Kieran Barrett, the chief of the Montclair State police department, on the morning of Nov. 16, Admad Abbel Jabbar was charged with burglary, conspiracy, simple assault and trespassing. Jabbar was identified as one of the masked individuals who attempted robbery at Bohn Hall on Friday evening.
An email sent by the police revealed that Luxile Diony, 18 and a resident of Harrison, was charged with the same charges on Saturday, Nov. 12.
The news and various social media posts left many in the campus community questioning their safety and the facts of the incident.
Ashley Barberio, a freshman elementary education major, was taken by surprise and said the university should improve safety precautions.
“I was shocked,” Barberio said. “This is the first bad thing that happened on campus since I moved in. They should be stricter with letting people in. I know they already have the desk but they could make getting in stricter.”
Bella Serra, a freshman elementary education major, feels uneasy about the situation.
“I was a little nervous,” Serra said. “My door was unlocked at the time and it made me realize I had to go lock it.”
In a series of emails, Barrett explained that the crime occurred approximately at 7 p.m. when three masked individuals in black hooded sweatshirts and one unmasked identified individual forced their way into a dorm room in Bohn.
The police added that the males were asking for items in a confrontational manner but left empty-handed. The crime alert also stated no weapons were shown or threatened to be used.
An Instagram post was made by @montclairstateconfesions, in which one of the alleged victims said in a private message that the police are misreporting what happened. The person said the roommate was punched and the police were called when the four males were still in the building. But the crime alert says otherwise.
“After they left and a bit of time passed, the resident contacted University Police,” the alert stated.
Barrett said the first email was sent to provide information to the community, but at that point, it was too soon to have solid details without an official investigation.
“An alert is preliminary and while it is entirely possible they were in the building, the alert states that after a bit of time,” Barrett said. “There was no true direction of flight so for us to guess would be speculative and cause undue confusion.”
Barrett further explained these details to one of the victims.
“I indicated that to one of the victims that evening [that] it is not an attempt to change a timeline but there is a difference between suspects being ‘at the scene’ and those that have fled,” Barrett said. “It is not a commentary on what was reported and when the victims faced real fear and a real crime.”
The Montclarion asked the alleged victim for an interview, but the individual denied.
Victoria Yoo, a freshman elementary education major, just moved into Bohn and is feeling anxious.
“This made me nervous because I just moved in,” Yoo said. “I still feel safe living there though.”
According to Barrett, the police department can not release any other information on the robbery at this time as the investigation is still open, but more details should be available soon.