A trespasser gained access to Pomona’s Wig and Harwood residence halls on Thursday, Feb. 17, and Saturday, Feb. 19 and was eventually arrested by Claremont police, according to e-mails sent to the student body over the weekend. On Thursday around midnight, Harwood RA Bianca Garcia PO ‘11 saw the trespasser trying to enter Wig. According to Garcia, the trespasser told her that he was looking for a study group, so she let him in. Since he did not have an ID, she guessed that he might not be a student, and followed him into the building.
“In the light, I could see that he was older and he appeared to be on substances,” Garcia said. “He was talking to himself. When he saw my pager, he panicked and left.”
Garcia called Campus Safety and sent an e-mail to the other RAs describing the trespasser.
On Saturday night, the man returned to campus and entered Harwood residence hall after telling a student he had lost his ID. Once the student saw that the man was intoxicated, he called Campus Safety, who called the Claremont Police Department.
“The resident did the right thing by calling Campus Safety,” said Lyon RA Alan Lopez PO ‘11, who was the on-call RA Saturday night and arrived at the scene when he got a call from the security officers. “It’s important not to profile based on appearance, but you should always report suspicious behavior,” Lopez added.
Aftter the trespasser refused to comply with the officers’ requests, they handcuffed him. He was not carrying any identification, but he was wearing a hospital wristband. Garcia said the police looked up the man’s identity using the wristband he was wearing, but it appeared that the name on the wristband was not his real name.
This was the second break-in to a south campus residence hall in the past month. On Jan. 27, a man gained access to Mudd residence hall in a separate incident.
In both situations, the trespassers followed students into the residence halls.
“Because we don’t force people to carry IDs, a window of opportunity is created,” Garcia said. “And with unregistered guests and students not locking doors, it makes townies and other people see our campus as more vulnerable.”