Dorm student arrested for assault

Heather Simmons

Contributor

 

A residential student at CSU Bakersfield was arrested by the University Police Department on April 8.

On the evening of April 7, Ikeorah Evans grabbed a female student in a common area of Juniper Hall. The victim reported the incident to the housing staff and UPD, who were able to apprehend Evans and conduct an investigation that lasted through the night.

Evans was arrested at 1:39 a.m. and was booked into the Kern County Central Receiving Facility, according to a document released by UPD.

“Everything went right in this case, which is complimentary of everybody’s knowledge and maybe potential past training,” said Martin Williamson, UPD police chief.

At his hearing on April 12, Evans was charged with “false imprisonment with violence.” He remains at the county jail, and his bail is set at $100,000.

The victim was not harmed and was commended for her willingness to report the incident.

“The student who reported it was not physically injured, and she is receiving all university services that are available, and she is safe,” said Crystal Becks, the director of housing.

Evans had only lived in Juniper Hall for a week before the incident took place, according to Becks.

“I’m glad that he’s gone so he doesn’t have to harass anyone else,” said Sanjeev Chaudhuri, a senior and Juniper Hall resident whose roommate was acquainted with Evans.

Evans had visited Chaudhuri’s roommate and had spent some time in their common room during the week of the incident. Chaudhuri heard the noise caused by the confrontation and was asked questions by the police.

“I didn’t really bother to know what happened after that to the moment until the email came in,” Chaudhuri said.

Housing staff sent an email to residential students on April 8 summarizing the incident and reminding students to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.

Information sessions and discussions were held within Student Housing East over the next week to dispel rumors.

“Students were concerned, and they had a lot of questions, and there was a lot of misinformation that they had, as well,” Becks said. “Once we responded to their questions with facts about what had happened, when they had a better understanding of what had happened and a better sense of their own ability to keep themselves safe. It has since calmed down.”

Since the incident, UPD has posted an officer near the residence halls for two or three evenings each week to build trust within the residential community.

“I think it’s well worth the effort for us to reach out to that particular segment of our campus because they are a kind of little micro-community, and they all live out there, so we want to make them as comfortable as possible,” Williamson said.

The officers are being paid $55 to $60 per hour from the department’s overtime budget, and the funds are not affecting other services, according to Williamson. If this initiative proves successful, the police department may adjust its budget to allow for a permanent housing officer in the future.

Though incidents like this are rare, students should consider their own safety and well-being.

“I think overall, students feel safe here, but at times it is common on most campuses to kind of lull themselves into a false sense of security,” Becks said. “…This is like a regular place, a regular home, and regular homes have to think about crime prevention.”

Williamson urges students to call the UPD at (661) 654-2677 any time they feel unsafe.

“I hate when people say, ‘I just didn’t want to bother you.’ I’d rather be bothered right now and put people at ease than I would be to take a chance of somebody getting hurt,” Williamson said.

Students should be aware of their surroundings and avoid using earphones while walking, according to Becks.

Residential students are urged to keep their doors locked at all times, and not to open their doors to people they don’t know. If a roommate or guest seems threatening or unsafe, they should be reported to the housing staff.

“I think the most important thing is trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s better to over-react than under-react,” Becks said.