The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Man briefly detained for harassing three students, El Camino police say

A former El Camino College student was issued a trespassing notice for disturbing three female students, including lifting one victim’s shirt and kissing her waistline on campus on Wednesday, March 1, according to campus police.

About an hour before the alert was sent out, the police department received a call at 11:39 a.m. about a man attempting to forcefully hug a woman by the picnic tables near Café Camino.

At 12:29 p.m., the man began “bothering” two female students on the second floor of the Industry and Technology Building where the suspect lifted up the first victim’s shirt and kissed her waistline. El Camino College Police received a call about the suspect eight minutes later.

The incident was ruled as a simple battery case and not sexual assault or battery because the man did not cause malicious or substantial harm to the victim with his actions. The man was released the same day after being briefly detained.

The victim chose not to press charges at the time the man was first detained.

The trespassing notice issued to the suspect by El Camino College Police Officer, Benjamin Kim, bans the suspect from entering the campus for seven days.

“At the time [of the report], we didn’t know if the two incidents were [connected] but based off of the description that the two females in [Industry and Technology Building] told me, it sounded very similar to the description of the male that the first female told me,” Kim said.

Kim confirmed the police were able to verify the same man was involved in both incidents.

The suspect left campus shortly after the incident at 12:29 p.m. took place and later returned around 1:30 p.m. The suspect was detained by police as they waited to see if the victim wanted to press charges.

“As I understand it, [the man] walked up to her and wanted to kiss her on the cheek but she kind of noticed him and just walked away from him,” El Camino College Police Chief Michael Trevis said. “So, he didn’t touch her at all.”

After denying pressing charges, Trevis told the Union the victim in this incident and victims involved in similar incidents have the right to change their minds regarding prosecution.

“We can’t arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in our presence, that’s why we need the [victim] to effectively place that person under arrest,” Trevis said. “She elected not to [press charges] but like I said, she can change her mind if she wants to.”

Kim later confirmed to The Union that the victim decided to change her mind about pressing charges after speaking to the victim and her mother around 6 p.m. on March 1.

“I informed [the victim’s] mother that because your daughter was unwilling to press charges at the time, we couldn’t take him in,” Kim said. “And then I also talked to the student again and then she did decide that she was desirous of prosecution.”

Fashion major Daniela Franco, a friend of the victim, was not aware that the incident took place until The Union interviewed her but said her friend seemed distraught.

“I was here at Fashion 10 [class] after 12:15 p.m.,” Franco said. “I stayed to retrieve garments that I made last semester. I was waiting for another class and left here at exactly 12:36 [p.m.].”

Franco said the second floor of the Industry and Technology Building is typically silent. She didn’t hear any noises or signs of the incident while she was in the building.

“It’s quiet, so anything that could happen would be heard,” Franco said.

Franco said she will have to be more cautious now going to and from her classes after learning about the incident.

Kim said if the suspect now decides to return to campus, even after the ban is lifted, police have “every reason” to take the suspect into custody.

Campus community members are encouraged to call the El Camino College Police Department at (310) 660-3100 or 911 to report suspicious activity.

To receive emergency alerts from campus police, text ECCPD to 888777 to sign up for Nixle Emergency Alerts.


Editor’s Note: Added additional background information about the suspect on March 23, 2023, at 4:49 a.m.

More to Discover