Woman reports peeping tom at Middlebrook Hall

Police are investigating the Monday incident, the second of the year reported at the residence hall.

by Luke Feuerherm

\Early Monday morning, one Middlebrook Hall residentâÄôs shower ended abruptly when she spotted someone reaching a camera phone over the small gap between the stallâÄôs sidewall and the ceiling.
She called police a couple hours later, filing the second peeping tom report by a Middlebrook Hall resident this semester.
There are currently no suspects, as investigators have nothing to go off of except for the description of a black cell phone, University of Minnesota police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said.
âÄúItâÄôs the electronic age,âÄù he said. âÄúEveryone is carrying a camera on their belt or in their purse, so it is certainly possible that things like this happen and people donâÄôt even know about it.âÄù
After the peep, University police investigators have been speaking with students in Middlebrook Hall to hunt for clues about the tomâÄôs identity. If caught, the peeper could face up to a year in jail.
Police believe the suspect is a University student, Miner said.
Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life Susan Stubblefield said they are encouraging students to come forward with any information they have.
âÄúWe really want the students to help,âÄù Stubblefield said. âÄúIf they can assist, we ask that they come forward and contact our Middlebrook staff.âÄù
Housing and Residential Life is planning to send an email to students to inform them of the problem and encourage them to come forward with information.
In the meantime, Stubblefield urges Middlebrook students who are uneasy about showering to use the âÄúcompletely privateâÄù bathrooms available on each floor.
The bathroom where MondayâÄôs incident occurred is shared by several dorm rooms. Where the stalls connect, there is a small gap between the wall and ceiling where two showers share a vent, light and sprinkler. ThereâÄôs also a gap on the floor for the common drain.
Stubblefield said a change to the bathroom layout is being considered.
âÄúWeâÄôre looking at different solutions and we know we need to consult with our facilities staff to see what options are available,âÄù she said.
Miner said that the two reports of peeping toms at Middlebrook are the only two that University police have received this year. In her 18 years at the University, Stubblefield said this is the only time peeping has been a problem.