Naked Quad Run leads to arrest

Posted by thetuftsdaily on December 13, 2010 under Campus News | Be the First to Comment

This year’s Naked Quad Run ended earlier than usual and ended in at least one arrest, but organizers otherwise called it a success.

Students reported seeing a male student handcuffed and arrested at the annual event, which took place on Friday night on the Res Quad, as he tried to help another student who was being chased by police officers.

The student, who was dressed in boxers, was led away to a police vehicle around 10 p.m., the witnesses, who wished to remain anonymous due to the nature of the event, said; a Daily video of the arrest (below) shows a police officer leading the student away from the scene.

Warning: The following video contains strong language.

NQR, which traditionally takes place on the night of the last day of classes of the fall semester, this year ended earlier than it had in recent years as police officers began kicking participants off the Res Quad course around 10 p.m., according to students in attendance.

The decision to end the run earlier was made ahead of time, according to student organizers, but many students were unaware of the change and showed up around 10 p.m. or afterward, when the run in at least the past few years had remained well attended.

A reception run by Programming Board started at 9 p.m., as noted in a student body-wide e-mail sent out by the Tufts Community Union Senate and Programming Board on Wednesday. As in the previous few years, no start time for the actual run was mentioned in the mass e-mail, although a TuftsLife posting by Programming Board said the “event” would start at 9:15 p.m.

Police officers at 10 p.m. or shortly thereafter began blocking the course and telling students they could no longer run, according to some student participants. The students said that the officers even used physical force to prevent students from running, seemingly targeting male students and pushing at least one into a metal barrier.

In one instance, according to witnesses, officers pinned a naked male student to the ground. When the officers were not paying attention, the student ran away; the student who was eventually arrested appeared to help the naked student escape, physically preventing officers from catching him.

Officers arrested the latter student, witnesses said. “People started booing when the cops arrested him,” one student, who saw the incident occur, said.

The leaders of Programming Board, the main student organization involved in the planning of NQR, said that they thought community quiet hours and safety concerns might have led the university to end the event early.

The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) and the advisor to Tufts Emergency Medical Services deferred questions to the university’s Office of Public Relations. The Daily put in a request for comment with the office yesterday and will update this post upon receiving a response. [UPDATE 12/16/10: The university provided the Daily with a response on Tuesday. Updated coverage here, and the full article here.]

Senior Adam Fischer, one of two co-chairs of Programming Board, said that no big injuries or pile-ups occurred during the run.

“They’re taking a potentially dangerous situation,” Fischer said of TUPD, “and making it as safe as possible.”

Fischer and senior Sarah Habib, the organization’s other co-chair, said that aside from the arrest, the event proceeded smoothly. Free donuts and complimentary t-shirts went quickly, and a DJ from WMFO Freeform Radio was popular, they said.

“It was a very successful event,” Habib said. “It takes a lot of work to put on NQR to make it safe for the runners. It’s a large coordinated effort throughout the university.”

Video by Aalok Kanani. Andrew Morgenthaler contributed reporting to this post.

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