Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Graduate student arrested by American University Police Department for unlawful entry

Officers escorted Benjamin Brumer from East Quad Building and placed him inside police van

The American University Police Department arrested a graduate student Tuesday night after he refused to identify himself to an AUPD officer, university spokesperson Mark Story told The Eagle via email. He was arrested for unlawful entry.

AUPD found Benjamin Brumer lying on a couch with his shoes off on the third floor of the East Quad Building earlier Tuesday evening, Story told The Eagle via email. The officer asked him why he was in the building and he refused to respond. The officer then asked Brumer to identify himself, Story said, and Brumer would not.

“Mr. Brumer refused to identify himself as an AU student by any means when asked repeatedly by AUPD,” Story said.

The officer escorted Brumer off campus, Story said. AUPD told him that he could return to campus once he identified himself. Brumer later returned to campus and AUPD again asked Brumer to identify himself. He refused, Story said, and he was transported to the Metropolitan Police Department.

“Given the context of recent unwanted visitors on campus, when any member of the community is asked to follow directives by a university official, that individual has an obligation to cooperate and/or identify him or herself,” Story said.

An Eagle reporter recorded officers escorting Brumer outside the East Quad Building shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday night. The reporter then saw Brumer handcuffed and on the ground outside the building. Police then brought him to the intersection of New Mexico Avenue and Nebraska Avenue outside the School of International Service building.

A group of students gathered around as police officers held Brumer next to an AU police van. The officers took Brumer’s backpack as he protested.

“I just want my backpack,” Brumer told the officers repeatedly. “Give me my backpack and let me hand it over to people I trust.”

Police officers then took the backpack and gave it to another student. They placed Brumer inside a Metropolitan Police Department van at about 8:30 p.m. A full police report on the arrest will not be available for at least 24 hours, MPD Officer Sean Hickman told The Eagle. 

“I work with him [Brumer] on a daily basis,” said Hrach Gregorian, the director of the International Conflict and Peace Resolution program in the School of International Service. “There’s got to be a better way to deal with this. This is ridiculous. This all escalated for nothing leading to an arrest. This isn’t the way to treat a student.”

This story has been updated throughout.

news@theeagleonline.com


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