State College Police Investigating Alleged Assault
State College and University Police are investigating an alleged assault that occurred over the weekend after multiple social media posts regarding the incident went viral. Information is still murky and contradictory in places, but here is what we know so far.
A public Facebook post (included below) by an acquaintance of the alleged victim from Sunday at 12:20 p.m. has been shared more than 1,000 times and includes the person’s name, the approximate date and time, and photos after the alleged assault.
A Tweet from Mateer, who is not a Penn State student, says he was assaulted by a member of a fraternity (keep reading, though) and included photos after the alleged assault. Another Tweet from Mateer, which has been retweeted more than 11,000 times, claims that the attack came from a fraternity “brother” who “hated gays.”
However, Mateer commented on the original Facebook post with an important correction. He now claims that he isn’t sure if it was a fraternity brother who attacked him:
As of 4 p.m. on Sunday, there was still no report filed with either the Interfraternity council or local police. It wasn’t until the university was bombarded with tweets and messages that Penn State notified both University and State College police.
We’ve received several tweets reporting an assault. University police and State College Borough police have been notified.
— Penn State (@penn_state) October 4, 2015
According to the State College Police Department, the incident was reported at 5:07 p.m. on Sunday and occurred on the 300 block of North Burrowes. Detective Deirdri Fishel of the State College Police said the incident is currently an open investigation and police are not actively investigating it as a hate crime.
Officers are still working to confirm details, but according to the police report the incident may have occurred inside a fraternity, which contradicts what Mateer commented on Facebook (like we said, details are still murky, but we felt compelled to present the facts as we know them given the attention this story has received). Police could not say whether or not they were investigating one or all of the fraternities on that block.
We’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds.
UPDATE (11:28 p.m.): Police identified the suspect in the alleged assault Monday evening and despite the original reports from Mateer on social media, the attacker was not a member of a fraternity.
Victim has reported to police the assault first reported yesterday via social media. Suspect identified and is NOT a PSU fraternity member.
— State College Police (@StateCollegePD) October 6, 2015