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Sexual Assault Occurs on N 12th Street Early Thursday Morning – UPDATE: Arrest Made

The suspect is described as a black male, in his 40’s, 6’1, 260 pounds, and was wearing a light blue t-shirt, and blue jeans

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Update 10/3:

NOTICE OF ARREST: The VCU Police Department is giving notice of an arrest following a recent sexual assault on the MCV Campus.

-Reported offense & brief description: On Oct. 3, 2019 at 1:48 a.m., VCU Police were notified of a sexual assault. The survivor said they had fallen asleep on a bench in the 400 block of N. 12th Street and awoke while being sexually assaulted by an unknown male. The survivor said the suspect left the area on foot.

-Arrest Information: Jermon J. Givens, 42, of Richmond is charged with aggravated sexual battery, a felony. (Image description: Arrest photo of Jermon J. Givens)

-Investigating agency: VCU Police are leading the investigation.

As always, police encourage students, faculty, staff and community members to report suspicious activity and crimes immediately. The VCU Police Department relies on everyone, on both campuses, to help keep the university safe.

Anyone with information pertaining to this, or any crime, can contact the VCU Police Department 24/7. For emergencies, call (804) 828-1234. For non-emergency tips, call (804) 828-1196. Off-campus emergencies in the City of Richmond can be reported by calling, or texting, 911. (Call if you can, text if you can’t.) For more information on this service in Richmond and surrounding communities, visit: http://www.richmondgov.com/EmergencyCommunic…/TextTo911.aspx.

 

From VCU Alert:

Reported Offense: On October 3, 2019 at 1:48 am, VCU Police were notified of a sexual assault. The survivor advised that they had fallen asleep on a bench in the 400 block of N 12th Street and awoke while being sexually assaulted by an unknown male. The survivor advised that the suspect left the area on foot.

VCU Police is investigating and has increased patrols and visibility.

Suspect/s: The suspect is described as a black male, in his 40’s, 6’1, 260 pounds, and was wearing a light blue t-shirt, and blue jeans. For a full description of the suspect/s visit alert.vcu.edu.

VCU Police remind members of the community of the following:

  • Engaging in any type of sexual activity without voluntary, informed and active consent is sexual assault.
  • Always seek verbal, sober, clear consent. Immediately stop sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say “no.” Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another. The absence of a “no” does not mean “yes.”
  • Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse, which can include sexual contact with someone who is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant that impairs the person’s judgment.
  • Alcohol and drugs may impair judgment, making it difficult to notice unsafe situations and intervene to help others. If either party is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, consent cannot be given.
  • Never pressure or coerce someone into engaging in sexual activity.
  • Approximately 75% of rapes are committed by acquaintances (https://rainn.org/).
  • Be on the lookout for people who may attempt to isolate someone who is intoxicated or has been drinking. People may pose, act or dress like a student, when they are not.
  • If you witness a situation that appears unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, intervene if it’s safe to do so or go to a safe area and call for help. Bystander intervention is a known tool to help to prevent campus sexual assault. (Police encourage the VCU community to download and use the free LiveSafe mobile safety application on iOS and Android smartphones.)
  • If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure, or scared, call VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 immediately.

Be aware of tactics used:

Tactics used to commit sexual assault include intruding into someone’s personal space physically, isolation and “feeding” or encouraging alcohol and/or other drug consumption.

Although alcohol is the most commonly used drug to facilitate sexual assault, other tactics include adding drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, or Rohypnol, to a person’s drink to incapacitate them. GHB, also known as Liquid Ecstasy, relaxes a person’s inhibitions, causes drowsiness, and may result in a loss of consciousness. Ketamine, also known as Special K, makes a person feel as if they are separated from their body and detached from reality. Rohypnol, commonly referred to as Roofies, causes a person to become drowsy, dizzy, and lack motor control and coordination. Prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety medications, are also sometimes used to incapacitate an individual.

Using or requesting the use of contraceptives and/or safer sex methods is not the same as consenting to sexual activity.

Develop a safety plan with friends. Help each other to stay safe by sticking together and making sure someone does not become isolated. Use safety apps, such as LiveSafe, to notify others if you feel unsafe, isolated or need assistance.

  • Be alert and aware at all times when you are with acquaintances.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
  • Report all suspicious behavior and circumstances to the VCU Police Department.

VCU’s Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination Policy:

VCU will take prompt and appropriate action to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.  Prohibited Conduct includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, partner or relationship violence (including stalking), other sex or gender-based discrimination, retaliation, and complicity.  For more information on the definition of Prohibited Conduct and the related University procedures, refer to VCU’s Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination Policy.

The University will not pursue disciplinary action based on disclosure of personal consumption of drugs or alcohol where such disclosures are made in connection with a good faith report of prohibited conduct under university policy or an individual’s cooperation in an administrative investigation.

The University will take remedial and protective measures to protect a Complainant and facilitate the Complainant’s continued access to university employment or education programs and activities.  These measures may include, but are not limited to, no-contact directives, residence modifications, and academic modifications and support.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault many options are available to you; retaliation for reporting is strictly prohibited.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not alone. There are people at VCU, and in the Richmond community, who are here to support you. We encourage you to report to VCU Police and the university’s Title IX office. After speaking with a specially trained VCU Police officer, a criminal investigation can begin; you have the right to participate or decline to participate in a criminal investigation.

Reporting & Support Resources:

VCU Police

Report a sexual assault or sexual crime to the VCU Police Department through the VCU Police You Have Options online portal:  http://www.reportingoptions.org/vcu-pd

Emergency #: (804) 828-1234 (Ext. 8-1234 from a VCU campus phone)
Non-Emergency #: (804) 828-1196

VCUPD Sexual violence resources on the Web: https://police.vcu.edu/sexual_violence/victim_witness_program.html

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Community

Black Bear’s Visit to Richmond Comes to a Safe End

No picnic baskets, bears, dogs, cats, or humans were harmed in today’s adventure.

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A black bear decided to explore Richmond today. First spotted on the Northbank Trail he later headed into town. Previous reports earlier in the week had the bear up near Pony Pasture. The picture above is from RACC Instagram which reported on the sedation and transportation of the bear.

We just received a call about a bear-and it really was a bear. Sometimes we laugh and arrive on scene with a giant Rottweiler, but nope-this was a real bear. We named him Fuzzy Wuzzy. Shout out to @richmondpolice for helping keep us safe and to @virginiawildlife for tranquilizing and relocating the bear out of the City!

Bear on Northbank this morning! from r/rva

Here he is in town.

Bear at Byrd and 5th from r/rva

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Downtown

Majority of Virginia to enter Phase Two of reopening; Richmond to remain in Phase One for now

Richmond and Northern Virginia will remain in Phase One while surrounding localities can now ease restrictions on gatherings, indoor dining, and other uses.

RVAHub Staff

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Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Sixty-Five and presented the second phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to continue safely and gradually easing public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The Governor also amended Executive Order Sixty-One directing Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond to remain in Phase One.

Most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday, June 5, as key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs. Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of people hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continues to trend downward as testing increases. The Governor and Virginia public health officials will continue to evaluate data based on the indicators laid out in April.

“Because of our collective efforts, Virginia has made tremendous progress in fighting this virus and saved lives,” said Governor Northam. “Please continue to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and stay home if you are high-risk or experience COVID-19 symptoms. Virginians have all sacrificed to help contain the spread of this disease, and we must remain vigilant as we take steps to slowly lift restrictions in our Commonwealth.”

Executive Order Sixty-Five modifies public health guidance in Executive Order Sixty-One and Sixty-Two and establishes guidelines for Phase Two. Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond entered Phase One on Friday, May 29, and will remain in Phase One to allow for additional monitoring of health data. Accomack County delayed reopening due to outbreaks in poultry plants, which have largely been controlled through rigorous testing. Accomack County will move to Phase Two with the rest of the Commonwealth, on Friday, June 5.

Under Phase Two, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people. All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures.

Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.

The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase Two. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase Two.

Phase Two guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Phase One guidelines sectors are available here. Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

The full text of Executive Order Sixty-Five and Order of Public Health Emergency Six is available here.

The full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-One can be found here.

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Crime

Richmond Police, Mayor Stoney apologize after tear gas deployed before curfew on protesters

Protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday night and were met with a forceful response and the deployment of tear gas by Richmond Police – an action for which the department and Mayor Stoney later apologized.

RVAHub Staff

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Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday afternoon and evening to speak out after the death of George Floyd. The group organized near both the Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart Monuments on Monument Avenue and remained mainly peaceful until police approached demonstrators at the Lee statue and deployed tear gas, as can be seen below from the below Twitter video from VPM.

Around the same time, reports began coming in that protesters at the Stuart monument were attempting to bring it down. A young demonstrator scaled the base of the statue and took what appeared to be a hack saw to the leg of the monument’s horse in an effort to bring it down. Police responded by calling on protesters to stand down, citing the weight of the monuments and their potential to crush bystanders.

Richmond Police and Mayor Levar Stoney later apologized for the deployment of tear gas on peaceful protesters – well below the 8:00 PM curfew – saying it was uncalled for and inviting protesters to City Hall at noon Tuesday to “apologize in person.” For its part, RPD said the officers involved had been “removed from the field” and would be subject to disciplinary action.

The protesters then continued marching down Franklin Street, then W. Broad Street, where things fizzled out around 10:30 PM near 14th Street.

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