NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A rash of incidents at a Yale University dorm laundry room may lend itself to juvenile humor, but it’s no laughing matter for affected students.
The students have opened the Saybrook College dorm dryers expecting to find clean clothes ready to wear, only to find their clothes covered in human feces. The culprit has been dubbed the “poopetrator” and is being blamed for at least four incidents in the past month in the laundry room at Saybrook College.
“We have asked our students not to leave their laundry unattended, the affected machines have been thoroughly disinfected and we are actively seeking information about who the perpetrator might be,” Saybrook Master Paul Hudak told the Yale Daily News. “That’s about all we can do.”
Hudak said Yale police are investigating. Officials at the Ivy League school also are considering changes to laundry room access.
Yale police declined to comment in the investigation.
Yale college freshman Lucy Fleming was one of the first victims back on Sept. 7, the student newspaper reported.
“I simultaneously wanted to throw up, cry and punch someone,” Fleming told the Yale Daily News.
A day earlier, someone had defiled clothes belonging to Fleming’s suitemate, and her suitemate’s boyfriend, with urine and food waste, the newspaper reported. Fleming found that her clothes also had been urinated on, but when she washed them again and dried them, she found that the vandal had targeted her clothes a second time with feces and had ruined them.
Since the Saybrook incident, students have begun standing guard over washing machines and have asked to have the dorm laundry room patrolled by security guards, the newspaper reported.
The suspect apparently struck again on Friday, hanging up a clothesline with clothes soiled in feces in a courtyard of Berkeley College. A person claiming to be the culprit alerted students and the Daily News about it, and the newspaper published photos of the soiled clothes.
“Some people think the whole thing is funny; some think it is scary; and everyone thinks it is gross,” Yale sophomore David Steiner told the New Haven Register.
Steiner received two emails on Friday that apparently were from the culprit, the Register reported. The name on the emails was “Copro Philiac.” Coprophilia is an abnormal interest in fecal matter.
Some readers left comments claiming that the stains on the items on the clotheslines did not look like real feces and could have been another substance.
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