Student lies about mugging, triggers first false Pirate Alert
After reporting an attempted assault on August 25, a student admitted he lied about the assault in order to cover up a fight he was in.
This original claim by the student triggered the first pirate alert of the year, sending the Seton Hall community into a frenzy that it had occurred so early on in the semester.
He told police that he was assaulted at 12:30 a.m. while walking alone on Valley Street. Due to a passerby he said nothing was stolen. A Pirate Alert was sent out Aug. 27 to alert the Seton Hall community.
SOPD had been alerted the day before, Aug. 26, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Within 24 hours of issuing the alert, the student revised his report stating he had claimed the assault to cover up a fight he was in earlier that night, according to Public Safety.
This is not the first instance of fabrication of a criminal report and a false Pirate Alerts.
“We are required by federal law (Student Right to Know Act) to issue a timely warning regarding incidents of crime that may pose a risk to community members. The law requires that we issue the alert as soon as possible after learning of the event or receiving a report from a credible source,” Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Security, Pat Linfante said.Students are upset by these reports and expressed concern over it.
“I feel it will make other students claims less valid and when they are in true trouble they won’t get the help they need,” said sophomore Mary Meg Donnelly.
According to Linfante, Public Safety takes every precaution possible in making sure a report is valid.
Donnelly suggested that something about this be included in freshmen orientation.
“Students need to know it puts others in danger when they do this,” she said.
It is against the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act guidelines and university policy for the punishment the student faces for this to be released.
Donnelly said these actions should face consequences.
“Actions should have consequences because their actions have consequences on others.”
Erin Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org