Community Advisory - Sexual Assualt near Longwood Campus

September 15, 2015

The following information was released by the Boston Police Department this morning.

 

Harvard-specific safety information below the BPD alert.

 

Community Alert: BPD Investigating Alleged Sexual Assault in Fenway Area

September 15, 2015

 

At about 12:30 AM on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, officers from District D-4 (South End) responded to a radio call for a alleged sexual assault in the area of Queensberry Street in the Fenway.

 

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the victim who stated that a suspect forced her into her apartment then sexually assaulted her. The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-twenties, approximately 6’0” tall with a medium build and scruffy shadow growth on his face. The suspect was wearing a gray hoodie, dark jeans, and black sneakers.

 

The Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident.  Anyone with any information is asked to call detectives directly at (617) 343-4400.

 

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to help this investigation anonymously.

 

TIPS FOR ENSURING YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. When parking, walking or returning to your car, remain in well-lit and populated areas.
  • Avoid walking alone late at night. When possible, walk with friends and people you know.
  • Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles.
  • Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device.
  • Keep a whistle within reach. If you feel threatened, use it to signal residents that you need help. Yelling words like: “Fire!” “Help!” or “Rape!” are other effective ways of drawing attention and alerting people that you need assistance.
  • Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
  • Before going out, call ahead to let friends or family know you’re on the way. Designate a time you expect to arrive, so that in the event you fail to show up on time, they’ll know enough to begin looking for you.
  • Walk with confidence. Be assertive. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts and know that anyone at any time can be a victim of crime. Never assume: “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
  • If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to scare, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
  • Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.

 

From the Harvard University Police Department:

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

 

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 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 www.hupd.harvard.edu/your-role-staying-safe.   .  

 

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 "Playing it Safe" booklet, which can be found at www.hupd.harvard.edu/annual-security-report.

 

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@hupd.harvard.edu.

 

Disseminated at 3:40 PM on September 15, 2015.