CITIZEN ALERT: Rape Reported in Harvard Yard


8/10/2012

The Cambridge Police Department is assisting Harvard University Police in this investigation, however, HUPD is the lead agency in charge of the investigation.

The following alert was issued by the Harvard University Police Department:

On Friday, August 10, 2012, an unaffiliated female reported to the Harvard University Police Department that she was the victim of a rape in Harvard Yard at approximately 3:15 AM. The victim was grabbed as she entered the Yard through the Johnston Gate and was pulled behind Massachusetts Hall and attacked.

The victim described the offender as a very tanned, possible Hispanic male, mid-twenties, 5’7” in height, medium build, dark hair, wearing a white shirt.

This incident is being actively investigated by the Harvard University Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Detectives are contacting area police departments in an effort to identify the suspect. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 617-495-1796.

The Harvard University Police Department has increased both uniformed and plainclothes officers in and around the Yard and the surrounding campus.

If at any time you observe any type of suspicious activity or have been the victim of a violent crime, regardless of the location of the incident, please notify the Harvard University Police Department immediately at 617-495-1212. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to store this number in their cell phone. Failing to notify the police immediately can seriously hinder the follow-up investigation.

The Harvard University Police Department wants to remind students, faculty, and staff that we are located in an urban setting and share many of the crime and safety issues that exist in any city. Community members should be vigilant while walking throughout campus and surrounding areas both during the day and at night and to take appropriate precautions. If you are out after dark, try to travel in groups, use only well-lit routes or designated pathways, and do not allow yourself to be distracted by phone calls or by using ear buds. Make use of shuttle buses, and van service. You should also note the location of blue light phones. You can learn more about the shuttles and van service at http://www.uos.harvard.edu/transportation/passenger_transport_services/ .

Students, faculty, and staff also may call the Harvard University Police Department at 617-495-1212 if they believe they are in danger while waiting for transportation due to the hour or circumstance. The Harvard University Police Department will assist with transportation whenever appropriate.

If you suspect you are being followed, stay away from dimly lit areas and head for a store or building that you know to be open. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area and call the Harvard University Police Department.

For more detailed information on safety and security please read the Harvard University Police Department's "Playing it Safe" booklet, which can be found at http://www.hupd.harvard.edu/playing_it_safe.php.

For questions about this advisory, please contact the Harvard University Police Department's Public Information Officer, Steven G. Catalano, at 617-495-9225 or by email at steven_catalano@harvard.edu.

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Cambridge Police Department

Robert C. Haas
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