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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Assault in Shapiro Residence Hall, no arrests made to date

Published: February 28, 2014
Section: Front Page, News

On Feb. 12 at 11:58 p.m., a student reported an assault that occurred in Shapiro Residence Hall to Brandeis University police. The report involved an assault and battery situation between two students that was considered “simple not aggravated.”

Simple assaults are ones where there are no intention to do any other injury. This type of assault is punished through common law by fine or imprisonment. The latter, aggravated assaults, include a bare intention to commit injury, but also another object that is criminal. For example, if a person should fire a pistol at someone, this person would most likely be guilty of an aggravated assault with an attempt to murder.

The names, genders and ages of the students involved have not been released. Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said that the Brandeis police assisted by transporting one of the students to the Waltham courthouse to file a criminal complaint. There have been no formal arrests made. Callahan says that although the event was fairly minor, every student has a right to a hearing.

“The student will have to go to the court clerk-magistrate’s office to share his or her side of the story,” Callahan said.

Waltham Police and the Waltham District Court could not comment on the current investigation, but they did share remarks about the difference between criminal complaints and arrests.

“Once a complaint is filed, someone will be charged. The complaint then has to be approved by the court, and the court will then determine if there’s a probable charge,” Waltham Police said.

Waltham Police do not know if this case will lead any arrests. In Massachusetts, if police decide to charge a person with misdemeanor that occurred outside of their presence, they are generally unable to make an arrest. The Brandeis police did not witness this assault, which is why they helped this student apply for a complaint at the district court.

Callahan says the assault is currently under investigation between his department and the department of Student Life.

An article by The Hoot in late January 2014 reported five separate cases of harassment, assault and sexual violence crimes that occurred on and off the Brandeis campus between the time of mid-December 2013 and mid-January 2014. Brandeis police say that in addition to Brandeis Public Safety, students can also seek help from services such as Community Living, the ICC, Student Activities, the dean of student life, Student Rights and Community Standards, Community Service, the Health and Psychological Counseling Center, the chaplains and the Title IX coordinator.