The Collegian
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Man enters university apartments, touches students

Two Westhampton College students reported to campus police Saturday that a male intruder had entered their apartment around 5 a.m. and touched them on their legs.

Seniors Taylor Cousins and Alex Child, who live together in an apartment in the 2100 block of the University Forest Apartments, said they had been sleeping in their separate second-floor bedrooms when they had awoken to an intruder touching their legs.

"I was asleep, and in my dream I imagined something touching me, and then I woke up and realized that it wasn't actually a dream," Cousins said. "There was something actually touching me.

"I jerked around and I saw this silhouetted man figure bound out of my room and slam the door shut."

Cousins and Child said they had left their back door unlocked, and Cousins said she had discovered the door wide open when she had gone downstairs to investigate the apartment about an hour after the incident occurred. At that time, she discovered $16 missing.

Around the same time Cousins reported being assaulted, Child said she had felt something behind her knee. When she rolled over, she couldn't see anything but had felt a presence and heard someone leave her room. Child said she had heard the intruder run down the stairs and leave the apartment.

Both women said the intruder had been a man of average height, but could not discern anything further about the intruder because the apartment was dark.

"It wasn't just light tickling for me," Child said. "It was definitely forceful."

The next morning, the two students started comparing stories and realized that they had both experienced a similar incident several hours before.

Cousins and Child said they had had a hard time sleeping through the rest of the night. They've been bolting their doors since the incident.

Brian Eckert, director of media and public relations, said the University Police Department was urging students to lock their doors and said that there would be a heightened awareness and surveillance around campus.

No evidence suggests that Saturday's incident is related to a string of four similar incidents that occurred on campus in September 2008, Eckert said.

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Contact staff writer Jimmy Young at jimmy.young@richmond.edu

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