With the help of eyewitnesses, the Wake Forest University Police Department has successfully concluded an investigation into how a female student sustained injuries to her face and hands on Friday night, Jan. 28.
The student, who had been drinking according to evidence, did not know how she was hurt. According to eyewitness accounts, the student’s injuries were caused by falling several times.
Investigators were able to trace the student’s whereabouts on the evening of Jan. 28, except from about 10:15 to 10:30 p.m., the time period when the injuries occurred.
However, three eyewitnesses came forward immediately after a campus-wide e-mail about the case was distributed late Wednesday, Feb. 2. The e-mail encouraged anyone with factual information relevant to the case to contact University Police.
Three male students told University Police the woman was having difficulty walking and they saw her fall several times in parking lot N, between Poteat and Kitchin residence halls. The students, including one who is a trained emergency medical technician, tried to help the woman. The woman refused their help and walked away toward Poteat courtyard.
As part of the investigation, University Police officers were also trying to identify a male student who was with the woman just before the incident was reported to University Police. The incident was reported by two female students, who said the woman was with a college-age man when they came upon her.
The male student contacted University Police Thursday morning, Feb. 3. He told investigators that the woman bumped into him in the walkway leading from the courtyard to parking lot P.
He told police he was trying to talk with the woman and help her stand when the two female students approached them. He then left the woman with the two female students.
The female students tried to take her to Student Health Service, but she refused. At 10:32 p.m., one of the students called University Police and reported they had found a woman who had been assaulted.
The woman never reported she was assaulted, only that she could not remember how she was hurt.
Immediately after the incident was reported to University Police, the woman was taken by ambulance to Forsyth Memorial Hospital. Her injuries included facial bruises, swelling and scratches. In addition, her front teeth were chipped and her palms were scraped.
At 3:45 a.m., she was released from the hospital and taken to Student Health Service, where she stayed until about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.
“This case was solved because the university community came together and provided valuable information,” said University Police Chief Regina Lawson. “Through extensive interviews our investigators were able to put most of the pieces together, but the students were able to provide the missing details.”
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