NewsPinellas County


Man sneaks into USF St. Pete dorm, assaults student

Posted at 2:42 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 19:19:58-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sneaking into a USF St. Pete dorm Wednesday night, beating up his ex-girlfriend, then taking her to a remote area of Gandy Beach and assaulting her again.

USF St. Pete police arrested Anthony Xavier Brown Thursday.

According to police reports, Brown was able to bypass locked doors by following a dorm resident into USF St. Pete Residence Hall One.

Once inside, he dragged his ex-girlfriend by her hair from outside of her dorm room to a stairwell inside the building. According to officers, Brown choked, strangled, and punched the young woman.

Brown then forced his ex-girlfriend into her car, which was parked just outside the dormitory, and took her to a remote area of Gandy Beach.

Officers arrested Brown the following day after he tried to run away from authorities.

According to the police report, the victim is battered and bruised and is missing chunks of hair from being dragged against her will.

Officers say Brown and the woman were dating for two months. When she ended the relationship, he began calling and texting her 40-50 times a day.

Students tell ABC Action News the incident terrifies them and they hope it serves as a wake up call for the need for more security at campus residence halls.

ABC Action News contacted a spokesperson for USF St. Pete and and were told they are constantly looking for ways to improve safety.

Carrie O'Brion, Director of Marketing and Communications, issued the following statement: "In this case, our University Police Department officers responded swiftly, and they were able to quickly apprehend the suspect without incident on Thursday morning. USFSP also offers support and counseling to any student who is the victim of a crime. The UPD is a fully accredited state law enforcement agency that patrols our campus 24-7. They are constantly looking for new ways to provide a safe campus environment, including the recent introduction of the USF Safe app that allows officers to instantly pinpoint the location of a student who feels threatened. Blue safety telephones are located across our campus, giving a direct line to the UPD, and the university has security cameras across the campus as well."

The incident comes just days after 23-year-old Brandon Nozistel was arrested for charges of stalking three women at the USF Tampa campus. Nozistel was a student and according to reports, lived next to the victims in the residence hall.