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Student jogger’s assault claim fabricated

The 21-year-old University of Miami student who claimed to have been assaulted and threatened by an attacker with a knife admitted she had falsified the story and had inflicted the wounds on herself, police said Thursday.

The student, whose name is not being released, told police that a man with a knife had attempted to steal her jewelry while she was jogging last Friday on Pisano Avenue near Doctors Hospital, but had fled when she put up a fight.

“The event was fabricated,” said Officer Frank Jackson of the Coral Gables Police Department. “There were some hard scratch marks, not just superficial wounds. They weren’t from a knife or any attacker. She had done it herself.”

Investigators determined that the student, who claimed the attacker had torn her clothing with the blade, had actually ripped it by hand, Jackson added.

When investigators returned to the scene of the “crime” days later at 7:45 p.m., the same time as the reported incident, they concluded that it was “highly unlikely that nobody had seen or heard the screams and struggle,” said Jackson, who noted that the area has heavy pedestrian traffic.

“We will not release her name because she may have mental issues and it would be against federal guidelines to do so,” Jackson said. “We will put her in touch with someone in our department and at the university to get her help.”

Individuals who falsify a police report may be charged with committing a crime, but Jackson said she will most likely not be charged because she “may be suffering from mental instability. We are most concerned with her mental health and well-being,” he said.

Chelsea Kate Isaacs may be contacted at chelsea@miami.edu.

Campus Crime Recap

Oct. 30, 2007; Aggravated assault: Two armed guards from an armored transport company, Loomis Fargo, reported that they heard a pop while walking across the Wellness Center bridge. One guard said he felt something strike his arm. UMPD said the case is still open with no new leads.

Nov. 17, 2007, Burglary with assault: A University Village resident reported that someone came into her apartment shortly after she returned home around 4 a.m. The subject proceeded to grab and restrain the Village resident, before she fought back and he ran from the apartment. The suspect has still not been found, UMPD said.

Feb. 2, 2008; Simple battery: A student who was jogging around campus reported that she was knocked down after someone tried to grab her iPod. The suspect has not been found.

March 8, 2008; Armed robbery: Police allege that three UM students were set up by two UM students, freshmen Kenneth Richard Gray and Tomario Alando Davis, and one non-UM student, Nathan Allen Pirtle, in an armed robbery. Davis and Gray have both been released to their mothers and neither have been convicted for the two charged felonies.

– Karyn Meshbane

April 28, 2008

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.