In the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 4, Tech students received a Clery Act safety alert email from the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD), in reference to a report of criminal trespass incident at the North Avenue Apartments (NAA) complex.
At approximately 3:45 a.m., an unidentified male intruder entered into a female resident’s room at the NAA-North building while she was sleeping. The intruder attempted to climb into the female resident’s bed, stating that he would pay her for sexual favors.
He claimed to be a resident of the same building. The victim screamed and the intruder left. He then attempted to enter another roommate’s bedroom and was told to leave.
At around 4:30 a.m. in the same building, another female resident whose room was unlocked reported a similar intrusion by an unknown male.
The second victim initially mistook the intruder to be her friend, but quickly realized otherwise after he attempted to climb into her bed. The intruder left the apartment after his advances were repudiated. The victim immediately called the police. Officers Patrice Jackson and Gean Taylor arrived on the scene, responding to the reports of the first and second victims, respectively.
The intruder was identified as a resident of NAA-North in a line-up held by the GTPD and was found to be the same person responsible for both intrusions.
“It was an inside student who lived in the building, so the victims picked that person out of a line-up. They’ve been investigating, and some of the victims want to pursue it criminally and some of them don’t,” said Teresa Crocker, GTPD Chief of Police.
According to the most recent report, the suspect selected from the line-up will be charged for criminal trespassing and will likely face additional sanctions from the Institute. The initial investigation indicated that the case was not drug related. According to GTPD, further investigation is in progress.
“I think what students need to know and understand is that he got indoors when the door was unlocked, and when you leave your door unlocked when you go to bed at night, people can walk in. The security measure that needs to be done is that students need to be aware and be told over and over again if that’s what it takes to lock their doors,” Crocker said.
The GTPD also felt that the case could have been much worse if the intruder was an outsider instead of a resident of the same apartment complex.
Since the GTPD have identified the perpetrator as a resident of the apartment complex, the Department of Housing does not believe that increasing security is really the issue, but that improving overall safety procedure awareness is required.
“We take security and safety very seriously in housing. We cannot and do not want to control students who are residents from walking around inside their own halls. But we have increased our reminders to lock your doors when you go to bed and are creating educational campaigns in all of our residence halls,” said Dan Morrison, the Director of Residence Life and Department of Housing.