By Juan Calvillo
East Los Angeles College has had two sexual battery incidents occur in the first two weeks of instruction with one at the Monterey Park campus and one at the South Gate Center.
Both incidents involved a male groping a female student.
Lieutenant Kevin Turrill, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff, said the investigation is ongoing but that the two incidents are being viewed as isolated occurrences. He said they are working leads on the suspects.
Interim Vice President of Student Services Nghi Nghiem said the administration has asked the Sheriff’s to increase their presence in areas that are highly trafficked by students.
There is no confirmation on whether the assailants are ELAC students or not.
Turrill said, “That hasn’t been determined yet. We’re still working on it.”
The Sheriff’s department was notified of one incident on the ELAC Monterey Park campus and the second incident at the ELAC South Gate Center.
The first incident occurred on August 31 in the E3 elevator areas. The second incident was on September 7 in the lunch area of the South Gate Center.
The Sheriff’s department gave descriptions of the assailants and posted them on students’ Canvas sites.
The suspect in the Monterey Park incident is a male Hispanic between the ages of 25 and 30 with black hair combed to the side. The male wore a gray shirt with a pattern, dark pants and black shoes. He was carrying a red backpack.
The suspect in the South Gate incident is a male Hispanic, between 20 and 25 years old. He is 5’6 with a thin build and short brown hair. He was wearing dark colors and had a red bicycle.
Nghiem said the administration asks students, faculty and staff to be aware of their surroundings around the campus grounds.
Nghiem said there are many cameras throughout campus and the Sheriff’s department has access to the camera system.
Turrill said both campuses are patrolled and have cameras monitoring different areas of the campuses.
“The whole campus in general is our area of jurisdiction,” Turrill said.
He said there is continuous monitoring for suspicious activity on both campuses.
Students can contact the Sheriff’s deputies and security officers if they see anything or need to talk to personnel.
The South Gate Center has two Sheriff deputies stationed on campus. The Monterey Park campus number of deputies varies depending on the shift working at the time.
Nghiem said students are able to attend safety seminars during the year and that the Associated Student Union can ask the college’s Sheriff office for special training sessions as well.
“Safety of all persons on East Los Angeles College’s campuses is of the [utmost] priority. If anyone has a suggestion for future campus security measures for consideration, please contact [the] Administrative Services office at Admin-Services@elac.edu,” Nghiem said.
Students can contact the Sheriff’s department at the ELAC Monterey Park campus at (323) 265-8800. Turrill said if students, faculty and staff see something, they should say something to authorities.