Content warning: This article includes mentions of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape

A group of Brandeis students were harassed by an unknown suspect outside of the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center on March 8. The suspect yelled offensive and threatening comments at the group and followed them in his sedan. This instance is one of three separate incidents reported to the police.

Three members of the group were waiting for the fourth to join them, before heading to a party that evening. For the protection of those involved, the names of those involved will not be included in this article. At approximately 11:20 p.m., as they were standing outside Gosman, a white male who appeared to be roughly 25-30 years old with red hair and a beard drove past the group in a white Ford Sedan. This description has not been confirmed. As he drove by, he screamed a homophobic slur at the group.

The white Sedan returned. This time, the driver threw a plastic bottle at the group. The contents of the bottle are currently unknown. When the car left again, the group walked east on South Street as originally intended.

After walking approximately a third of a mile from Brandeis, the car returned a third time. The driver yelled, “I’m going to rape you” at the group and left once again.

The group began running on South Street and decided to hide from the man near the Boston Children’s Hospital. Before arriving at the hospital, the car pulled up to the group again and the man yelled, “I’m going to kill you.”

The group hid and one member of the group called 911. As they waited for the police to arrive, the group watched the car pass by several times, but he appeared to not see the group. Approximately 10 minutes later, Waltham police arrived at the scene. The group provided information regarding the encounter. They said that once they returned to campus they felt much safer.

Several students posted information regarding the suspect on the anonymous app Sidechat, primarily detailing that he was in a white sedan and harassing women. There were claims that he got out of the car and went up to the group or pinned them down and threatened to pull a gun out. The Justice has not been able to corroborate these claims as of press time.

The following evening, the University’s Chief of Police, Matthew Ruston sent an email to the community entitled “INFORMATIONAL: Timely Warning - Active Investigation of Threat(s).” The email began by discussing how there have been several instances on campus over the past few days of “verbal threats, abuse, and physical aggression.” Rushton provided student safety recommendations: stay aware, travel in groups, utilize campus resources such as the blue light system and Brandeis Public Safety’s phone line (781-736-3333) and report incidents to campus police.

“I don’t feel necessarily extremely concerned to go out, but it has definitely opened my eyes up about campus safety. Obviously walking at night through Waltham is a risk, but what kind of made it more shocking is that it was literally in front of Brandeis,” a member of the group said in a March 11 interview with The Justice.

At the time of publication, no suspect has been publicly named.

Chief Rushton did not respond to The Justice’s request for comment as of press time.

— Editor’s note: A member of The Justice’s staff was a witness and did not contribute to or edit this article.
Correction: an earlier version of this article stated that two members of the group were waiting for the third to join them, but there were three students waiting for a fourth.