Penn State Police, Two Cars

Two Penn State Campus Police cars are parked in the Eisenhower Parking Deck on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

Penn State University Police and Public Safety arrested Robert Wahl, an adjunct lecturer of sociology and criminology, on Sept. 1 after an employee reported being harassed in the Willard Building, according to the university crime log.

At approximately 5:25 p.m. Sept. 1, police responded to a report of physical assault at the Willard Building, according to Penn State spokesperson Lisa Powers.

Wahl was charged with harassment, and his offenses include simple/other assault but not aggravated disorderly conduct, according to the university crime log.

In an email sent to faculty members in the African Studies program, Interim Director of African Studies Sinfree Makoni alleged the victim was "racially attacked" by Wahl for "not wearing his mask properly."

"No charges related to racial motivation have been filed, and there is no additional information to share on this case," Powers said.

Bystanders at the scene of the incident allegedly heard a man repeatedly yell “help me” from the connecting corridor on the second floor between the Willard Building and the new Bellisario Media Center. According to witnesses, a man was lying on the floor, and Wahl walked away from him.

As people rushed toward the man on the floor, others said they saw Wahl walk toward the stairwell. Bystanders confirmed Wahl said he pushed the other man out of the bathroom for not wearing a mask.

According to Powers, the victim — a Penn State employee — was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for evaluation.

Wahl has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is still ongoing, according to Powers.



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