Update: The following was emailed to the campus community this morning:
This is to notify the campus community that the suspect in several crimes committed last weekend in the Easton area, including the armed robbery and attempted abduction of a female student on our campus, has been apprehended. The investigation that began when the crimes occurred resulted in the suspect’s capture last night. Participating in the investigation are the Easton Police, the Office of Public Safety, the Pennsylvania State Police, Phillipsburg Police, Forks Township Police, and authorities in other local municipalities.
The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned this morning and charged with these crimes. More information will be sent to the campus community after the arraignment.
President Daniel H. Weiss sent the following message to parents by email Sept. 28.
Dear Lafayette Parent,
The safety of our students and other members of the campus community is the College’s highest priority. I am writing to let you know that an arrest warrant has been issued today for the suspect in a robbery that occurred on Saturday, Sept. 25, in the Easton area. Police indicate that the suspect also is the suspect in the armed robbery and attempted abduction of a female student that occurred on our campus in the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 26.
Our Office of Public Safety has informed the campus community about the issuance of the arrest warrant. I would like to let you know about other steps the College has taken to keep the campus community informed and safe since the crime – which was the first incident of its kind at Lafayette in memory – occurred on our campus.
- Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, the College’s Office of Public Safety sent an emergency notification (including a text message and an email message) via the College’s E2 Campus Emergency Alert Service. This alerted recipients that a student had reported to Public Safety that she had been the victim of an armed robbery by a male suspect in the parking lot of Watson Courts at about 1:15 a.m. In addition to sending the written alerts, which contained a description of the suspect, Public Safety also broadcast an oral announcement through the College’s campus-wide emergency public-address system at the same time. The Easton Police Department and the Office of Public Safety began investigating the incident immediately.
- On Sunday morning, just before 8 a.m., Public Safety followed these alerts with another email message informing the campus community that the victim had escaped the suspect and had been treated at the hospital and released, and that the suspect had left campus in his vehicle immediately after the incident. This message also noted that the suspect had stated to the victim that he had had a knife and a gun (although no weapon had been seen) and that further investigation had determined that the suspect had assaulted the victim and attempted to force her into the trunk of his vehicle.
- On Sunday evening, shortly before 8 p.m., Public Safety issued another email message to the campus, informing the College community that increased patrols by both Public Safety and the Easton Police Department would be in effect on campus beginning Sunday night. The message also cautioned students and others against walking alone, especially after dark, and reminded them that Public Safety provides an escort service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to any member of the campus community who requests it.
The College will maintain increased patrols of campus by Public Safety personnel and Easton Police pending the apprehension of the suspect and will continue to keep the campus community informed.
Again, there is no higher priority at Lafayette than providing a safe and secure campus environment. Information on the College’s safety and security policies and procedures are found on the Office of Public Safety web site (http://publicsafety.lafayette.edu/), including crime prevention tips, crime statistics, and information on how to sign up to receive emergency alerts via text message through the Lafayette E2Campus Emergency Alert Service. The alert service is one component in a comprehensive incident response plan that is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis and includes protocols for insuring the safety of the campus community in the event of emergencies of all kinds.
Daniel H. Weiss