The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has publicly identified a suspect in the reported sexual assault that allegedly took place Sunday, Sept.18 after LMU’s annual Fallapalooza concert.
While Chief of Public Safety Hampton Cantrell would not confirm the identity of the suspect, multiple Loyolan sources have confirmed that he is Alex C. Berry, a non-student. According to a Facebook page belonging to Alex Berry, he attended the University of Leeds and currently lives in Texas. Berry has been banned from campus and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is continuing the investigation.
“This case, we have really handed the baton, if you will, to the LAPD so they have a criminal investigation,” Cantrell said. “We don’t want to say or do anything that may compromise what they are trying to do for the investigation.”
DPS released surveillance images of a person of interest in the case on Friday, Sept. 23, and investigators said they received a nearly immediate response from students. As of press time, no arrest had been made by the LAPD, which is still investigating in cooperation with DPS. The person of interest was later upgraded to a suspect after conferring with the victim and witnesses.
“We are really thanking students who may have seen things, who knew who he was or thought they knew who he was and provided that information to us,” Cantrell said. “It said a lot about our community, in that it really does take a community to create a safe environment.”
Lane Bove, senior vice president of Student Affairs, commended students on their efforts in identifying the suspect.
“We have been committed to educating our students on the importance of stepping up and stepping in for others. In this instance, the LMU student body did exactly that,” Bove said. “They came forward with information immediately, and by doing so, made a statement that they will not tolerate misconduct on their campus.”
The Loyolan reached out to the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, which investigates sexual assaults, on Monday, Sept. 26, and to the LAPD Media Relations Section on Tuesday, Sept. 27. As of press time, no responses were received.
It took approximately five days to release photos of the then person of interest. According to Cantrell, DPS needed to accurately identify the person of interest’s connection to the University and waited to avoid accidentally stigmatizing a falsely identified person of interest.
After the sexual assault was reported, DPS increased its campus patrols which will continue until further notice is given.
Dean of the Library Kristine R. Brancolini sent out a community email on Sept. 26, addressing safety concerns after the reported sexual assault.
“We remain committed to fostering an open and welcoming space where students are free to explore and collaborate on their intellectual pursuits and creative interests,” Brancolini said. “As we evaluate and improve the physical security of our facility, we seek to strike a balance between security and intellectual discoverability.”
The investigation is still ongoing.
“This is a criminal investigation. […] [My] urge for our community, just patience as this unfolds and being respectful of what our victim has gone through,” Cantrell said.