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Alleged attempted rape, murder in SW

UMass student arrested in Pierpont after alleged assault

By: Sarah Belanger, Collegian Staff

Posted: 2/14/08

A University of Massachusetts student allegedly attempted to rape a woman in her Southwest dorm room on the morning of Feb. 2.

Timothy D. Prata of Hyde Park was arrested by UMass Police in Pierpont residence hall at 2:10 a.m. Prata, 19, was charged with attempted rape, kidnapping, indecent assault and battery on a person 14 and older, attempted murder and assault to murder.

According to Deputy Chief of the UMass Police Department, Patrick Archbald, Prata and the woman were in a room when he allegedly grabbed her around her neck with his hands and did not let her leave.

The victim of the alleged crime, also a student at the University, was treated at the scene by Amherst Fire Department personnel.

Resident Assistants in the Pierpont Dormitory have asked residents to refrain from commenting about the event and to respect Prata's privacy until things get sorted out.

An e-mail addressed to the campus community on Feb. 10 briefly outlined the event among a list of other recent crimes at the University; including the Feb. 3 stabbing of two men in another Southwest residence hall.

Freshman Josh Berkowitz believes that Southwest's size is to blame for the recent rash of violence in the residential area.

"I think it really has to do with population," Berkowitz said. "When you have a lot of people in an area things are going to happen regardless of how much security you have. It's not because there are bad kids in that one area, there just a lot of people there so things are going to happen more often."

"Southwest is like a city and if you need more police in a city, then maybe we need more police presence in Southwest," Berkowitz added. "But at the same time I don't feel like something that extreme is going to happen all the time."

Junior Nicole Desabrais has lived in both Orchard Hill and Central; two areas of campus where she feels are safe.

"It's hard to imagine living in that kind of environment," Desabrais said about Southwest. "But I also believe that people's personal decisions have a lot to figure into what happens there."

Jessica Shim, a Pierpont freshman was unaware of the incident that occurred in her dormitory.

"I don't really feel scared when I'm walking around school, but after hearing report after report, it makes me feel less safe on campus," Shim said. "I do get worried sometimes as to why these things continue to happen."

"I think it's good that the Collegian and other news outlets report such things so that other students are more alert and will be more cautious," She added.

Prata was arraigned on Monday in Eastern Hampshire District Court after being held on $20,000 bail. The dean of students has reviewed the case against Prata and disciplinary action has been taken.

Sarah Belanger can be reached at [email protected].
 

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Zombie Hunter
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I thought all the students at UMass wanted a reduced police presence, because they create a fearful campus environment for all of the peace-loving students.
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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They just didn't want the cops in the dorms...you know, where these crimes occurred. Hey, if I were going to commit a crime, I sure as hell wouldn't want the cops there either. COMMON SENSE PEOPLE!;)
 

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I have been to UMASS Amherst many times and the police presence, when I was there, was no where near a police state like these kids would make it out to be. They dont take any crap from the students. Which, I am sure is a culture shock to these fine kids.
 

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Again I have to say that I am shocked that anything bad would happen at an institution of higher learning with an idigenous residential population of young adults numbering in the thousands, with the maturity and life experience they possess...
Why the hell would you need cops there? Can't the Hadley and Amherst municipal cops drive through once a month?
:rolleyes:
Rape?, Murder? Hell that doesn't happen ANYWHERE between Albany and Springfield!
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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But What About The Children?????[-(
 
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