Rutgers Trial: Cop Describes Search for Tyler Clementi
(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) — A Rutgers police officer testified Thursday that when he searched for missing student Tyler Clementi, his roommate Dharun Ravi did not mention that Clementi was upset over Ravi’s alleged webcam spying and had asked to switch rooms the previous day.
Police officer Krzysztof Kowalczy said he was told to conduct a “well-being” check for Clementi on Sept. 22, 2010 after police found Clementi’s possessions on the George Washington Bridge. Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the bridge earlier that day.
Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, left a note, but its contents have never been made public. His death came a day after he complained to school officials that Ravi had used a webcam to spy on him while on a date with another man and had invited others to watch during a second date.
Clementi had requested a room change on Sept. 21 and both students had conversations with Rutgers residence life employees about the incidents.
On Sept. 22, Kowalczy asked Ravi if he had any idea where Clementi was or if he had been acting unusually. Ravi said he didn’t know where his roommate was, but that Clementi had been acting normally earlier in the afternoon.
Ravi told Kowalczy about Clementi’s Sept. 19 date with an “older, slightly overweight” male with a “scrubby beard and short black hair,” the officer testified, but did not mention that Clementi was upset that Ravi has used his webcam to catch Clementi and the man kissing. Ravi also didn’t mention that Clementi was angry over Ravi’s tweet inviting others to watch Clementi’s second date on Sept. 21, the officer testified.
Prior to Kowalczy’s testimony, three of Ravi’s friends were called by the prosecution to testify that Ravi told them about setting up a webcam that could spy on his roommate.
What is expected to be one of the most dramatic moments in the trial was also delayed again on Thursday as the man who was seen on a webcam kissing Clementi was not called to testify for the second day in a row.
The man, known only as M.B. in court documents, will be called by the prosecution to tell the court what happened during the two dates he had with Clementi in September 2010.
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