Boston University Police Department officials arrested a man not affiliated with BU in Mugar Memorial Library Monday night for photographing female BU students, officials said.
The suspect was a 37-year-old white male, said BUPD Deputy Director of Public Safety Scott Paré. BUPD declined to release the suspect’s name.
Paré said BUPD received reports from students of an unknown male taking inappropriate pictures of female students seated at desks on the third floor at about 9:15 p.m.
He said officers were able to make the arrest without causing a large disturbance. The suspect was arrested for secret photographic and electronic surveillance.
“Because of what was going on, we had a couple of officers in plain clothes,” Paré said. “The officers in plain clothes went to the third floor while uniformed officers were on the ground floor.”
Paré said the suspect began to get up and leave when plainclothes officers arrived and the officers escorted him down to the ground floor and placed him under arrest.
“We were able to access his phone and there were a number of pictures of females in the library,” he said. “The pictures were of an inappropriate nature. He just took these pictures while sitting in the area, as far as we can see, but he may have walked by at some point.”
The suspect was released on bail and will be arraigned Tuesday in Roxbury District Court, Paré said.
The suspect is banned from BU property, Paré said.
“If he sets foot on BU property, he is subject to arrest,” he said. “His picture is up, officers are aware [of what he looks like].”
Paré said officers do not believe there is a connection between this incident and a string of assaults in the Ashford Street area, in which a male suspect pushed female students to the ground and took pictures under their skirts.
Between Sept. 23 and Oct. 28, there were five reported incidents. BUPD issued an alert to raise awareness on Nov. 6.
Paré said the description of the suspect in the string of Ashford Street assaults was consistently a younger Hispanic male. The suspect arrested Monday in Mugar was a 37-year-old white male.
Brett Engwall, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said the arrest occurred quietly, as he was on the second floor of the library during the incident and did not notice anything unusual.
“I’m assuming they did a really good of keeping it under control because I was there for about three hours and I didn’t hear anything,” he said. “I didn’t hear any reactions from anyone around me that was anything out of the ordinary.”
Engwall said while he does not feel threatened, he understands how people would feel violated.
“Generally people on campus feel safe in the library,” he said. “I know I’m one of them. I don’t feel personally violated, but that’s a gender thing. It is definitely a feeling of breach in some sort of security when someone who’s not supposed to be where they are is doing something they’re not supposed to.”
Engwall said the situation was both unsettling and strange.
Hannah Morrison, a CAS junior, said she was surprised such an incident occurred in Mugar.
“I’m more alarmed than in Allston, because in Allston, unfortunately, it’s something that comes with the territory,” she said. “You expect it’s sketchy Allston and it has that reputation. Mugar is definitely some place you should be able to feel safe.”
Chrstianna Gilbert, a School of Education freshman, said while she found the incident concerning, she was pleased by BUPD’s response.
“That they were able to do it quickly means they are on top of things,” she said. “It stinks they couldn’t have prevented it, but the fact that they were able to respond quickly when something like that does happen is reassuring.”
Amy Gorel contributed to the reporting of this article.