University of Delaware students protested on Tuesday, accusing the school of taking too long to address the arrest of Brandon Freyre, a student charged with a vicious assault.
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According to police reports, University of Delaware student Brandon Freyre, 20, was arrested last week on charges of kidnapping, strangling, and assaulting a Newark woman off-campus.
Occurring around 4 a.m. on Friday, Brandon Freyre and the victim, whose name was not revealed but is said to have known their attacker, got into a verbal argument where property was damaged.
The argument escalated, according to Newark police, and Freyre hit the woman with blunt objects in a brutal attack, spraying her eyes with lead paint and threatening to kill her. Authorities reported that Freyre then “strangled her to unconsciousness” and threw her down a flight of stairs. She was later able to flee the apartment and alert the police.
Newark police then apprehended Brandon Freyre and took the victim to the hospital, where she is expected to make a full recovery with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to ABC News, he was charged on Monday with “kidnapping second degree, assault second degree, strangulation, terroristic threatening, assault third degree and criminal mischief.”
Despite being arrested on Friday, students at the University of Delaware were angered when the school did not acknowledge the crime until Tuesday, a whole day after he was officially charged.
“The past few days have been difficult for the University of Delaware community,” the school said. “We are writing to acknowledge the harm inflicted, denounce the violence reported, and call for our UD community to come together and advance our goals of a campus climate free of all violence, including gender-based violence and violence against women.”
The vice president of student life at the University of Delaware, José-Luis Riera, and the chief diversity officer, Fatimah Conley, revoked his membership to fraternity Kappa Delta Rho.
At the protest, students questioned what happened to delay the statement, let alone provide acknowledged punishment for Brandon Freyre, for four days. They also took offense to dismissing the brutal attack as “domestic violence,” since Freye was also charged with kidnapping and nearly killing his victim.
“A man in [Kappa Delta Rho] absolutely brutalized a woman,” one student told the school’s newspaper at the protest, “and we are here to protest not only him and the frat but also the violence against women that is allowed to occur on campus.”
“I understand that sometimes it takes time for a response, but I feel like with how bad of an issue this was there should have been a statement issued sooner,” another student said.
According to the school paper, only 50% of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity members reportedly completed the sexual assault prevention module, mandatory for all students at the University.
Over the past couple of weeks, attention to fraternity-related sexual assault and rape has increased tremendously, as students have taken to campus protests in the hundreds. Fraternities claim that sexual assault on campus is not directly linked with Greek life, while students argue that fraternities and schools that promote Greek life have not done enough to curb the incidents and help make students feel more safe.
“I was really frustrated to see the lack of response from the university,” said a female student who is also part of Greek life at the University of Delaware. “I think silence is deafening, and their silence is really, really painful to witness. I just don’t think that [the university] is that committed to protecting their students and that’s really, really frustrating to be a part of.”