A 20-year-old student at the University of Delaware has been arrested and charged for the alleged kidnapping, assault and strangling of an unnamed female student at an apartment last week. Brandon Freyre was charged with kidnapping second degree, assault second degree, strangulation, terroristic threatening, assault third degree, and criminal mischief.
On Monday, Newark Police said that the female victim reported the assault on the morning of October 8. Police said that Freyre and the victim were in a verbal argument earlier that morning at an apartment that drastically escalated.
Along with damaging her property, Freyre "struck the victim with blunt objects, sprayed her in the eyes with spray paint and threatened to kill the victim if she contacted police," the department said.
"He next strangled her to unconsciousness," the police said. "Freyre blocked the exit to the room and prevented the victim from leaving the apartment. After about four hours, he threw the victim down a flight of stairs."
The victim, police said, was transported to a local hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Freyre was jailed with a cash bail set at $38,100, police said. He has since been released after paying his bond, according to the National Victim Notification Network. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 10.
The University of Delaware told CBS News on Wednesday that Freyre, a sophomore, has been "officially separated" from the school and "is not allowed on campus." The incident, they said, took place at an off-campus apartment.
The female victim of the incident is also a student, and the university said it has been "in touch with her to offer support services and resources."
Freyre was a member of the university's chapter of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity. The fraternity said it immediately suspended his membership, and on Tuesday announced that his membership has been permanently revoked, saying he "attacked a woman heinously" and that "there is no place in our society for such behavior."
The incident sparked a massive protest at the university on Tuesday. According to the university's student-run newspaper, The Review, protesters chanted "silence is compliance" as they marched next to fraternity houses. A video of the protest went viral on TikTok, with the original poster saying, "We deserve to feel safe on our campus," and citing statistics about domestic violence.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 43% of dating college women report experiencing violence and abuse. More than half of college women have reported knowing a friend who's experienced such behavior. The relationship between Freyre and his victim has not been clarified other than that Freyre was "known to her."
The university had not issued a public statement about the incident prior to the protest, but did later that day.
"The past few days have been difficult for the University of Delaware community. We are writing to acknowledge the harm inflicted, denounce the violence reported, and call for our community to come together and advance our goals of a campus climate free of all violence, including gender-based violence and violence against women," the university said, adding that the incident "sparked immediate response" by the university.
"Our Code of Conduct allows the University to separate students from UD upon an arrest for a violent felony. As such, the university has followed this policy," the school said. "...This recent, heinous incident of domestic violence reminds everyone in our community that we must be vigilant to uphold our values so that all can be safe here and pursue an education without the unjust burden of intimidation or threat to one's physical and emotional wellbeing and safety."
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