WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A freshman at the University of Hartford has been arrested after accusations that she bullied her roommate using bodily fluids in an incident were shared widely on social media.
West Hartford police say 18-year-old Brianna Brochu is already charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace, and that the department has asked that an additional charge of intimidation based on bigotry or bias be filed against her.
An investigation by the university’s Department of Public Safety revealed that Brochu posted photos and a statement on her Instagram saying she tampered with her roommate’s property, as well as deposited bodily fluids on the victim’s belongings.
According to the Hartford Courant, the caption under the post read:
“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 ½ month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions… putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”
The victim told police that she had felt “severe throat pain” which she believes was the result of Brochu’s tampering with her items. She also wrote a public post on her Facebook page on the incident.
The accusations were shared all across social media and got the attention of the university’s president, Gregory S. Woodward. He released the following letter to students regarding the incident:
Dear University of Hartford Community,
I am writing to you this evening to send a strong message regarding an incident that is deeply upsetting to me, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. One of our students was the alleged victim of bullying and her story was shared across social media. Let me be clear: the accused student’s behavior was reprehensible and does not reflect the values of our institution. Let me also be clear that I am confident the University has taken all steps to pursue this matter seriously, and will continue to do so.
Upon learning of the incident, Public Safety immediately ensured that the victim was relocated to a safe location, notified local authorities, and provided support for their investigation. The accused student was subsequently arrested by the West Hartford Police Department and her case will proceed through the legal process. The University will continue to precisely execute our defined process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
The University strictly and swiftly followed all procedural and legal processes related to this alleged event; claims to the contrary are based on misinformation. The incident has brought about accusations of racism, and I want you to know that I hear and share your anger and frustration. Acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated on this campus. I pledge to do everything in my power to work with our community to address related concerns together.
Throughout the day, I and members of my administration have been meeting with students, including representatives from the Student Government Association, multicultural organizations, and concerned students. I have also met with the affected student and we are in communication with her family. We will continue to offer support and assistance to her, as well as any other student that feels threatened, victimized, or uncomfortable on our campus. Let me repeat; racism and hatred will not be tolerated on this campus. Period. I encourage every one of you reading this email to report incidents on campus that are troubling and worthy of review.
I will proactively schedule and communicate additional community conversations in the coming days. I am willing and prepared to openly discuss concerns and will transparently share any additional information about University resources and processes that will make our community stronger. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our University and I am confident we provide a secure environment for our students in which to learn and thrive. Our community is not exempt from issues facing our society and world. We must strive every day to practice understanding, tolerance, inclusion, and grace. I know that you will join me in this critical mission.
Late Wednesday morning, the West Hartford police department requested that an additional charge against Broch be added to the court’s case. The additional charge is Connecticut General Statute 53a-181k, intimidation based on bigotry or bias.