Mason Police arrests student in Fenwick Library for alleged Abduction [UPDATED]



On Tuesday, March 8th George Mason University student and Resident Advisor Abdirashid Dahir went from looking for a study room in Fenwick Library to finding himself being arrested and taken to the Fairfax Adult Detention Center (FADC) for alleged abduction.

Dahir, according to a CNN iReport, left his belongings in a study room for a few minutes to return and find that a woman had taken the room and moved his things outside of it. When Dahir complained to the woman and attempted to negotiate sharing the room, the woman, according to the report, called campus police. Dahir, a black Somalian Muslim, remained in the room while the woman reportedly made hateful racist remarks and then called the police again. In the second call the woman claimed that Dahir had locked her in the study room, while Dahir claims that he left the door open.

When campus police arrived they questioned the woman inside the study room, making sure Dahir stayed outside of it, according to the report. When they finished questioning the woman they asked Dahir to leave Fenwick. Dahir expressed his concern that they had not given Dahir a chance to tell his side of the story and that their conclusion was not fair, according to the report. 

The report went on to say that Dahir went to the campus police station by Rappahannock Parking deck to file a complaint against Officer Rapoli and VanDoren, who was also on the scene. He met the two officers and asked for an apology but both officers refused. Dahir left but came back a few minutes later to ask the officers how long his suspension from Fenwick was.  VanDoren told Dahir he was suspended from Fenwick for a “couple hours,” but changed it to a year when Dahir asked for the charge to be put in writing, said the report. VanDoren had Dahir’s picture taken and gave him a citation for trespassing, but only for two weeks, which is the maximum amount of suspension time allowed from Fenwick library.

After the police station Dahir went to the Dean’s office to complain about the officers and was directed to Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens who unavailable at the time. Later on, in a study room in Shenandoah, Officer Rapoli and Ross came to Dahir and put him under arrest for alleged abduction without any further explanation, said the report. Dahir was held for seventeen hours in jail at the FADC and released on bond for $2,500. Dahir has since met with Scherrens after his judicial hearing on campus, but his still waiting on the school’s decision on the case. The official trial will be held on April 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Fairfax General District Court.

Connect2Mason contacted Mason Police who refused to comment. Mason PR was contacted, and subsequently released their statement at 4:23 p.m. on 3/14/11. Dahir has not yet been availiable for a comment. The members of Mason staff that were mentioned have been contacted for comment, and their comments will be posted as they are recieved. 


UPDATE (3/14/11 4:45 p.m.): Mason PR has released their statement. It is posted in it's entirety below:

The allegations are currently under review by both the university police and the university's Judicial Affairs office.  Mason police officials  are continuing to look at all details of the incident.  If any new information is uncovered it will be conveyed to the appropriate authorities in Fairfax County and to the university.

The university's Judicial Affairs office has also begun its process to look into the allegations.  Both law enforcement officials and the Judicial Affairs office recognize the urgency of the situation and are moving as quickly as possible.  University officials will provide information to the public as it becomes available, and as is appropriate.


UPDATE (3/14/11 6:25 p.m.): Vice President Maurice W. Scherrens gives C2M a further comment:

This is a serious matter and we intend to thoroughly review the actions of all the parties involved in this incident.  George Mason University embraces diversity and inclusiveness, and will not tolerate actions inconsistent with this core value.


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