Department of Public Safety Spokesman Randy Young said in an email that the suspect, Rickie Donnel White, 52, approached and pushed a woman into a small music practice room in Hill Hall shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday and shut the door.
After a minute, he opened the door, and she fled and notified the police, who located White, arrested him and charged him with assault, second-degree kidnapping and trespassing.
There were no weapons. and no one was injured. By 12:40 p.m., an Alert Carolina message was sent to students to give the all-clear.
Freshman biology and music major Blake Riley doesn’t believe it’s common for students to practice in Hill Hall at night.
Riley said the location of Hill Hall might make it less safe than buildings on central campus, but building access passes help protect against break-ins and crime.
“Due to its closeness to Franklin Street, Hill Hall is more easily reachable to the general public than buildings farther south on campus,” he said.
“You need to swipe your OneCard to access Hill Hall during the nighttime hours, so it is safe in that regard. In addition, you need to have a practice pass on you that you can get from your private teacher or ensemble director in order to practice in Hill Hall.”
He said the assault will not deter him from practicing in the music building.
“It could have happened anywhere,” Riley said.
Junior music major Sean McWeeny said he practices violin in Hill Hall almost every day but was not there Tuesday night. He said additional security measures were put into place in recent years after people were found trespassing in the basement.
“I know that two years ago there weren’t any incidents of assault, but there were people who weren’t supposed to be down there, so they upped the security and made it so past a certain hour you needed OneCard access granted by Paul Cole , who’s sort of the keymaster,” he said.
McWeeny said there have recently been signs around practice rooms reminding people to lock doors and cover the windows. He said he does not feel unsafe and will continue practicing there.