UNCW Police: Assault did not happen as reported on campus

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One week after a student reported an assault on the campus of UNC-Wilmington, university police have concluded the assault did not happen on campus as it was reported.

According to UNCW Police Assistant Police Chief Maj. Chris Bertram, investigators have followed all leads on the case, and have reason to conclude the assault, as it was reported to police, did not occur on campus grounds.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, a student reported to police that she had been physically assaulted by three males wearing dark clothing and ski masks, who hit her with a pipe in the H Lot located near the Racine Drive intersection, across from the campus water tower. The assault was reported to police at about 9 p.m. that day, 30 minutes after the alleged incident. There was no robbery reported.

“We have followed every lead, we have looked at video, we looked at the timeline and it didn’t happen as it was reported,” Bertram said. “We started noticing some inconsistencies, and when we delved into that, it came up to where we were able to conclusively say that this did not occur the way it was reported to us.”

The student suffered an abrasion and a cut above her right eye, Bertram said in an earlier report on the case. She was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

“We have been in connection with the student and with the mother of the student, with her permission. We’ve gone through everything…and we’ve made recommendations for them,” Bertram said. “We want to be able to help our students…we are going to get whatever resource we can provide her.”

The investigation into this case is now closed, Bertram said.

A notice sent out to faculty, staff and students at UNCW read, “Safety continues to be UNCW’s top priority, in collaboration with leadership and various UNCW offices. While the report of an assault caused concern for our students, their parents and our employees, it also served as a reminder to remain vigilant, be aware of one’s surroundings at all times, and reach out to UPD or take advantage of other university resources designed to protect our community.”