Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Man scares hall resident in bathroom

Man scares hall resident in bathroom

Intruder opens woman’s shower curtain in Allison, flees building

By Alison Knezevich

A man entered a campus residence hall Monday morning and opened the curtain on a Northwestern woman taking a shower, police said.

The incident happened just after 9 a.m. Monday on the fourth floor of Allison Hall, said Assistant Chief Daniel McAleer of University Police.

Weinberg freshman Ali Robertson said she had been taking a shower for about five to 10 minutes when a man opened the curtain to her shower stall and looked at her.

Robertson said she gasped when her curtain was drawn back but did not scream. The man ran away as Robertson grabbed her towel, she said.

She then ran out of the bathroom to look for the intruder but did not see him.

“He got away pretty quick for such a big guy,” Robertson said.

She added that there are two exits to the bathroom and the intruder may have run through the one she did not.

McAleer said the man had fled from the restroom to the west stairwell of the dorm.

A detective spoke with Robertson while several other police officers conducted a thorough search of the building and surrounding area, McAleer said. They did not find anyone matching the description of the intruder.

“We will continue to look, but this person probably fled,” McAleer said.

Such incidents are very uncommon on campus, he said.

According to police reports and Robertson, the man was a thin, 6-foot male aged 25-30 with short hair and no facial hair. He was wearing denim jeans.

About a minute before the man pulled back Robertson’s curtain, she said she saw him enter the bathroom and pull back the outer curtain to the main shower area.

“I looked down through the crack in the curtains (of her stall) and saw these blue jeans,” she said.

Robertson said she thought he was a janitor and that he left right away. She then reached out of her individual shower stall and closed the main curtain.

But Robertson said about a minute later, the man returned and opened both curtains.

After trying to follow the intruder into the fourth floor corridor, Robertson said she ran down the hall looking for someone to talk to, eventually entering the room of Amy Hamblin, a Daily staffer, and Lauren Bradley and locking the door.

“(Robertson) all of sudden barged into our room … dripping with soap and water,” said Bradley, a Weinberg freshman.

Bradley said she tried to calm her hallmate down as Robertson recounted the incident. Robertson said her resident assistant, Neelam Vashi, was in the shower at the time the man walked in but did not hear anything.

After Robertson left Bradley and Hamblin’s room, she and Vashi called University Police.

Vashi said she had not doubted the building security before Monday. She said keys are required for both the main entrance and for every floor of the dorm.

“There are multiple locks that you have to go through,” she said. “It’s secure, we thought.”

Bradley said that although there are many locks in her dorm, it’s easy to enter if someone holds the door for you.

“I’ve gotten in several times when I’ve forgotten my keys,” Bradley said. “Just because there’s so many people (who live in) Allison.”

Robertson also said people often hold doors to let others into the dorm.

“It’s really not hard to come in behind someone,” she said.

Allison Hall President Robert Boesel sent out an e-mail to the dorm’s listserv Monday evening, cautioning residents to be aware of suspicious people and not to let people without keys into the building.

The Daily’s Elaine Helm contributed to this report.

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