Community Advisory - Assault and Batteries Harvard Square area, Cambridge

August 30, 2021

Beginning Tuesday evening (8/24/21), four assault and batteries were committed against male victims in the area of Harvard Square. Three of the victims were graduate students and the fourth victim was unaffiliated with the University. In each of the incidents the victims identified the offender as a white male, twenty to forty years of age, and riding on a bicycle. In three of the incidents, no words were exchanged prior to the offender punching the victims. These incidents occurred both during the day and in the early evening. None of the victims knew the offender nor required medical treatment for any injuries. It is unclear if the same offender committed all four assault and batteries.

  1. these incidents did not occur on Harvard University property, they are being investigated by the Cambridge Police Department. If anyone has any information regarding these incidents, please contact the Cambridge Police Department at 617-349-3300. Those who wish to submit tips anonymously via phone email, and text message, should visit

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 (Cambridge campus)/617-432-1212 (Longwood campus.) Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to store the HUPD’s urgent number in their cell phone.

If you have experienced harm or been the victim of a crime and would like information on available resources both on and off campus please visit

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 the appropriate precautions, such as walking with others and utilizing walking escorts, taxi escort (Longwood campus), the shuttle bus and evening van service whenever possible. 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. Additional safety, escort, and transportation information can be found at

Persons should avoid talking on cell phones, listening to music, or walking too close to persons unnecessarily. 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. If you are approached by someone displaying a weapon and demanding your property, it is recommended that you comply with the request and not resist.

For more detailed information on safety and security please read the Harvard University Police Department's annual security report entitled "Playing it Safe”, which can be found at

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

Disseminated at 8:00 PM on August 29, 2021.

See also: 2021