A student was assaulted in a Barnard residence hall early Tuesday morning, according to a security alert email sent by Executive Director of Public Safety Antonio Gonzalez to the Barnard community on Tuesday.
At approximately 1:50 a.m., a male attacker followed the student into 616 West 116 Street, an upperclassmen dorm which houses more than 200 Barnard students, assaulting her in the building’s outer vestibule. The College did not provide specific details about the assault.
The student resisted the attacker and made a “loud noise” alerting the access attendant, who stopped the assault and called for additional support, according to a statement from the College. The student suffered minor physical injuries. Columbia University Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident, but did not transport the student to the hospital.
The suspect fled the scene and entered Riverside Park. As of Tuesday night they had not yet been apprehended.
The outer vestibule is located between the building’s front door and an inner door entering into the lobby. When students enter the building late at night or early in the morning, they must wait for the inner door to be remotely unlocked by the access attendant, who has a visual of the vestibule through a camera feed to a monitor at the front desk. The building is staffed by an access attendant at all hours.
Students registered for emergency text message alerts received two messages, the first at 2:42 a.m. that a “possible assault” had occurred on 116 Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive and that police were at the scene. Students were instructed to avoid the area until they received a second message at 4:13 a.m., which stated that the area had been cleared and that NYPD was no longer on-site. While the entire Barnard community later received an email regarding the assault, the incident was not communicated to other members of Columbia University.
According to a description from public safety, the suspect is a dark-skinned male, approximately 5’7”, and 160 to 170 pounds. At the time of the assault, he was wearing a blue jacket, dark clothing, and a gray hat.
As of Tuesday night, the NYPD is actively investigating the incident.
Check back for updates.
If you have any information about the crime or the suspect, contact Barnard Public Safety or the 26 Precinct Detective Squad. If you see the suspect, call the police immediately. Barnard Public Safety will continue regular safety checks in the area.