Kutztown U. boosts security after recent assaults

March 15, 2013 3:12:29 PM PDT
Kutztown University officials are beefing up security after three assaults were reported in less than a week.

University President F. Javier Cevallos says officials began increased security patrols at the eastern Pennsylvania campus Thursday.

Campus police are now getting help from Pennsylvania State Police after the rash of assaults.

Officials at the Berks County school say the third incident happened near two campus buildings around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, when a man was hit from behind by another man and one of the assailants pulled a knife.

On Friday, police say three men, one armed, broke into a dorm room in an attempted robbery. Early Sunday, police say a student was assaulted near two campus buildings.

"We're a little bit more concerned this time," says Robert Watrous, dean of students at Kutztown University, "because of the nature of things that are going on."

The chair of the school's student government's safety committee, Nicholas Imbessi, is asking for extra shuttle bus service, increased security cameras and extra lighting.

No arrests have been announced.

"It doesn't happen very often," Watrous told Action News, "but when it does, it kind of shakes the foundation of the university core."

Students we talked to said it has changed the nature of campus life.

"I'm very aware of who's knocking on my door and walking around the halls at night," said freshman Breann Young.

Officials say last year there was a rash of crime that happened around the same time, but it was off-campus. That activity in 2012 included a home invasion. However, arrests were made in those cases and as of Friday evening, police say, the suspect descriptions are very vague.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.