An unidentified man verbally harassed two students in Sellinger Lounge Sunday night. The man, who had previously been seen bothering others in the vicinity, accused the two students of stealing his cell phone before being detained by Department of Public Safety officers.

Akite Daniel (NHS ’10) and Toni Hudson (NHS ’10) were studying in Sellinger Lounge at approximately 10:30 p.m. when an unidentified man, who they said seemed mentally unstable, approached them and began to complain that he had asked a female to guard his cell phone but that she had walked away.

“I thought he was genuine, and I was going to help him,” Daniel said.

oments later, the man picked up a cell phone from the ground nearby, stating that it was his phone but that his phone charger was missing.

“I paid $300 for this phone, and now it’s useless without the charger,” he shouted, according to the two students.

The man then tossed the phone to Daniel and alleged that Daniel had stolen the charger.

“You know what, sweetie – you can keep the phone,” the man said to Daniel, she said.

According to Daniel and Hudson, a female student then approached the scene and informed the group that the cell phone the man had just thrown belonged to her.

The aggressor, a middle-aged white male clad in overalls, a shirt, tie, leather jacket and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) campaign button then proceeded to remove a cell phone charger from a nearby electrical outlet.

“How did the charger get from here to here?” he asked, according to Daniel. She said that she told him that she did not take any charger.

Hudson and Daniel said they believed that the man was accusing them of theft because they were black.

“Because we’re the only two black people here, you blame us,” Daniel told the man.

“Are you trying to make this a race issue? I love black people. I support the Obama campaign,” he said in response.

The man then walked away, after which others in the vicinity said that they had seen this man harassing students in the Leavey Center in the past and suggested that Daniel call DPS.

When the man returned with a soda and sat down, Daniel called DPS and told them that someone who she did not think was mentally stable was harassing her.

Approximately 15 minutes later, two DPS officers arrived and confronted the man, taking him aside to speak with him about the incident.

“I don’t have to prove to you that this is my cell phone,” he shouted at the officers.

A physical scuffle ensued between the man and the two DPS officers, during which he made claims about being detained illegally. Trying to reenter Sellinger Lounge, he was restrained by one of the officers but managed to break free. The two DPS officers, along with four others who arrived at the scene, then chased him out of the Leavey Center as he shouted, “You can’t do this to me! I worked on the 1992 Clinton campaign!”

Fifteen minutes later, three DPS officers returned with him to retrieve his backpack from Sellinger Lounge and left in the direction of Hoya Court.

“I understand this campus had more than an undergraduate school and that anyone can walk through here during the day,” Daniel said. “But I pay to go to school here, and it’s 10:45 on a Sunday and this guy is harassing me where I go to school.”

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