Victim of alleged rape is El Camino student, faculty member says


Update: April 14, 9:30 a.m. “Instructor” has been changed to “faculty member” when referring to Pete Doucette in the story and headline.

Update: April 14, 8:45 a.m. ECPD Chief Michael Trevis wrote in an email this morning, “Late yesterday, I learned that the victim is a ECC student. That’s all I have for you now. This is a Gardena PD case and I cannot comment on another agencies case.”

Update: April 13, 4:30 p.m. “Doucette’s neighbors said” has been changed to “Doucette said his neighbors said.” The headline has also been changed for clarity.

This morning, an El Camino faculty member sent an email to faculty, staff, managers and supervisors that said the victim of the alleged rape that occurred blocks from EC Friday was an international student at the college.

Pete Doucette, who teaches chemistry, said he lives in the area near Crenshaw Boulevard just north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. Between noon and 12:30 p.m. Friday, Doucette said, there were several police cars and a house was taped off in his neighborhood.

Doucette said his neighbors, one of which was home during the incident, said the international student was followed home in broad daylight by the suspect, who kicked the door in. Doucette said his neighbors said the student soon emerged from the house, fell on the sidewalk and was “devastated.”

Doucette said his neighbors told him the student, described as Chinese or Japanese, yelled, “He’s in the house. He’s in the house.”

Gardena police officers were going door-to-door in the neighborhood yesterday “wanting to know if we had seen anything or had any video cameras,” Doucette said.

Many international students from El Camino live in that area, Doucette said.

The incident happened on the corner of 157th and Atkinson streets, according to a Campus Advisory sent out by ECPD.

“The suspect is described as a male, African American, 20-25 years old, with short curly hair,” according to the Campus Advisory. “He was wearing a black or dark colored hoodie and shorts. He was last seen riding a blue ‘BMX’-type bike with orange rims.”

Mike Tumnt, who lives on the block of the alleged incident said he was the victim’s landlord and confirmed that she was a student at EC.

However, Gardena Police Lieutenant Steve Prendergast said today he can’t confirm the victim was an El Camino student.

“I can’t confirm anything,” Prendergast said. “I don’t know much about the victim.”

Community Relations Director Ann Garten said she had no information on the incident.

“We don’t confirm or deny rumors,” Garten said.

ECPD Chief Michael Trevis did not respond to multiple messages. ECPD Officer Jan Caldwell said, “I can’t talk to you until (Garten) says OK.”

“I’m sure it’s an ongoing investigation,” Doucette said, “but they should say something. That’s a pretty damn big thing to happen to one of our students.”

He added that the Campus Advisory sent on Friday said there was a search happening in Gardena, but it could have been as far away as the 110 Freeway. “It happened within probably 200 feet of campus,” he said.