Bad Man On Campus?

Preston Taylor doesn't want to share a campus with David Cash Jr., the man dubbed the "Bad Samaritan" for doing nothing to stop his friend from strangling a 7-year-old girl at a Nevada casino last year.

Taylor, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, is disgusted that Cash, who is studying nuclear engineering, didn't try to stop his friend and that school officials say there's nothing to be done about it.

"It's an embarrassment that the university isn't doing anything," says Taylor.

He's not alone in his disgust. CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports that Cash has become the least popular person on Berkeley's campus.

Cash has been publicly scorned, even spit on at a convenience store. Some fellow students have launched a campaign of public humiliation and private snubs aimed at getting him to leave school.

Wednesday night, Berkeley's students tried to force their student government to draft a letter telling Cash he was unwelcome on campus. "This is one of those times when we cannot maintain our neutrality," said student senator Arian White.

The measure failed, but the contentious debate continues on the campus.

Cash has broken no laws. Nevada has no "Good Samaritan" law. And authorities say Cash won't be charged with anything. Nevada prosecutors and UC Berkeley administrators have made it clear they won't move against him.

His friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer, pleaded guilty Sept. 8 to the murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping of Sherrice Iverson in May 1997.

While Strohmeyer has languished behind bars, the spotlight has glared on Cash. Two radio show hosts from Los Angeles chartered a bus to bring demonstrators to Berkeley in August.

"You do not need this guy in your school," Sherrice's mother, Yolanda Manuel, told hundreds of protesters. "You do not need him sitting next to you in class."

Taylor, who is executive vice president of the student government, said students have few options in dealing with Cash.

"A lot of students are trying to find ways to express their concerns but there really are none," he said. "What I hear is a lot of people stare at him, give him mean looks, don't talk to him."

Some are furious that Cash is taking up a slot at highly competitive Berkeley.

"I am totally giving him the silent treatment. I don't even want to have contact with him at all," said Candice Blagmon, a freshman who lives in the same dormitory complex as Cash.

His troubles began May 25, 1997, the night he and Strohmeyer—both two weeks shy of high school graduation—went to the casino.

Cash told investigators he saw Strohmeyer follow Sherrice into a women's restroom and tried to get him to leave her alone. He said he left before the assault took place, though two friends say Cash told them he watched Strohmeyer sexually assault the girl.

Later that night, Strohmeyer told Cah he had killed the girl. Cash kept silent.

The two were turned in by other classmates who recognized them from surveillance tapes.

Strohmeyer was arrested May 28, moments after swallowing 37 Dexedrine pills in an apparent suicide attempt. He is to be sentenced Oct. 14 to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Cash told CBS News' 60 Minutes last month that he had no intention of leaving school and that he has no regrets about his inaction. "I don't feel there is much I could have done differently," he said.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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