Recent peeping incidents spark concern

Photo: Recent peeping incidents at the Unit 1, Unit 3, and Clark Kerr Campus residence halls have been a source of concern for residents as well as security monitors.
Fikre-selam Habebo/Staff
Recent peeping incidents at the Unit 1, Unit 3, and Clark Kerr Campus residence halls have been a source of concern for residents as well as security monitors.

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The UC Berkeley dormitories have seen a marked increase in the number of peeping incidents reported this semester, with two incidents last week bringing the semester's total to six since January, all occurring in the dorms.

On April 18 at about 12:21 a.m., a female not associated with UC Berkeley was showering in a third-floor restroom at Unit 1's Deutsch Hall when she saw a head peeking over the partition between her stall and the next, apparently trying to peep at her, according to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao. After the female screamed, the alleged peeper fled the scene.

Less than an hour later, at about 1:10 a.m., Unit 3 resident Jessica Ro was taking a shower in a second-floor restroom in the Beverly Cleary dormitory when her floormate Ryan Salladay saw a male peeking over the shower partitions surrounding her stall. In that incident, police were notified and arrested a 17-year-old male also not associated with the campus.

According to Salladay, the alleged peeper was a prospective UC Berkeley student staying with a friend who lives on Ro's floor - and who had to spend the night in jail before he was picked up by his mother the following morning.

The suspect in the first incident is described only as having black spiky hair. But based on the similar suspect descriptions from both incidents, Yao said UCPD is considering the possibility that the two cases may be related.

The two reports come not long after a series of similar incidents occurred on the first floor of building 12 at the Clark Kerr Campus on Feb. 5, March 15 and March 29 - as well as a slightly different instance April 8 in which a "suspicious" person of unknown sex was spotted standing in one of the shower stalls.

The Clark Kerr reports are in addition to yet another peeping incident at Deutsch Hall that occurred Feb. 25 on the eighth floor.

"Due to the number of occurrences in a short period of time, I do think that these deviant acts and criminal acts are concerning," Yao said. "We're focusing our efforts to resolve these crimes."

No dormitory peeping incidents were listed on the UCPD's daily crime log for the fall 2010 semester.

The facilities department began installing new locks and shower curtains in Clark Kerr building 12 bathrooms April 1. Marty Takimoto, residential and student services program marketing communications director, added that the facilities department is also working on creating a more permanent floor-to-ceiling partition to remove any gaps between the ceiling, floor and door. He also emphasized the importance of discouraging residents from propping Clark Kerr's bathroom doors open.

"We have a lot of traffic that might go through the building that are not residents of that particular floor," he said. "They need to keep that door locked."

Lauren Week - a second-floor resident of Beverly Cleary - said she does not feel safe in her building. In addition to the recent peeping incident there, she said at the beginning of the year she was followed to her room by an unknown male who was let in by the building's security monitor.

"I talked to my RA about changing the security, and she didn't really seem like she could do anything," she said.

Bryanna Willis, a security monitor at Deutsch Hall, said she was not aware of the peeping incident in the building.

"Lately, they haven't been so good in distributing the information to us in what's going on," she said.

Tags: , UCPD, UNIT 1

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