A case that began as a severe sore throat for a University of Hartford student in Connecticut lead to the arrest of her roommate.
Brianna Brochu is accused of tampering with her roommate’s personal items and allegedly tainting some of them with bodily fluids, according to police.
Brochu’s roommate, Jazzy Rowe, shared her story through a Facebook live post that has since gone viral, according to Hartford television station WFSB.
“What happened is beyond ridiculous,” Rowe said. “It’s something straight out of a movie.”
Rowe explained that she was randomly assigned a roommate and moved into the room on campus in August.
She said right off the bat, she felt like she was unwanted and ignored.
“I was like a ghost in my own room,” Rowe said.
Rowe went on to say that her roommate, whom she did not identify in the video, would do things like turn the light off on her while she was in the room.
Eventually, she said she started getting sick. She thought it was just a regular cold; however, she said she never got any other symptoms.
“The sore throat pain got worse,” Rowe explained. “It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t speak.”
University health officials couldn’t figure out what was causing it, Rowe said. They prescribed antibiotics for whatever was causing “bad bacteria” in her throat.
Rowe said she was nice to her roommate. She shared her microwave and even fed Brochu’s fish when Brochu left for the weekend.
Rowe said she decided to move out two weeks ago.
That’s when her RAs and friends alerted her to what Brochu had just posted to social media about her, according to WFSB.
She said she wasn’t following Brochu on Instagram, but grew concerned that everyone else on campus could now see what had happened.
In Rowe’s Facebook video, she read one of the posts:
“After one and a half months of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more, I can finally say goodbye to ‘Jamaican Barbie,” she read. Rowe said the post was followed by photos of what Brochu allegedly did to her.
Police said were dispatched to the campus to investigate “a report of vandalism and harassment” on Oct. 18th.
They corroborated some of Rowe’s story, including that Brochu posted statements to Instagram in which she said she did things such as put bodily fluids on her roommate’s property.
Police said Brochu also posted photos of other tampered property as well.
Brochu turned herself in on Oct. 28th and was charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace.
She is scheduled to face a judge on Wednesday.
The university released a statement about the case from President Greg Woodward:
Dear University of Hartford Community,
I am writing to you this evening to send a strong message regarding an incident that is deeply upsetting to me, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. One of our students was the alleged victim of bullying and her story was shared across social media. Let me be clear: the accused student’s behavior was reprehensible and does not reflect the values of our institution. Let me also be clear that I am confident the University has taken all steps to pursue this matter seriously, and will continue to do so.
Upon learning of the incident, Public Safety immediately ensured that the victim was relocated to a safe location, notified local authorities, and provided support for their investigation. The accused student was subsequently arrested by the West Hartford Police Department and her case will proceed through the legal process. The University will continue to precisely execute our defined process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
The University strictly and swiftly followed all procedural and legal processes related to this alleged event; claims to the contrary are based on misinformation. The incident has brought about accusations of racism, and I want you to know that I hear and share your anger and frustration. Acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated on this campus. I pledge to do everything in my power to work with our community to address related concerns together.
Throughout the day, I and members of my administration have been meeting with students, including representatives from the Student Government Association, multicultural organizations, and concerned students. I have also met with the affected student and we are in communication with her family. We will continue to offer support and assistance to her, as well as any other student that feels threatened, victimized, or uncomfortable on our campus. Let me repeat; racism and hatred will not be tolerated on this campus. Period. I encourage every one of you reading this email to report incidents on campus that are troubling and worthy of review.
I will proactively schedule and communicate additional community conversations in the coming days. I am willing and prepared to openly discuss concerns and will transparently share any additional information about University resources and processes that will make our community stronger. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our University and I am confident we provide a secure environment for our students in which to learn and thrive. Our community is not exempt from issues facing our society and world. We must strive every day to practice understanding, tolerance, inclusion, and grace. I know that you will join me in this critical mission.
Greg Woodward President