A woman who has eaten in Columbia University’s dining hall, taken classes, studied in the library, and hung out with undergrads — all without actually being enrolled — was arrested not once but three times for trespassing.Birva Patel, 27, who posed as a Columbia student for about nine months, was arrested for criminal trespass on Thursday and Saturday, and then again on Monday, the Columbia Spectator reported Tuesday.
Patel, who was known as “Rhea Sen” and claimed to be Indian born but raised in Philadelphia, sparked a number of red flags among students.
“She was very strange and socially awkward,” student Carly Ichniowski told the New York Post. “What she said didn’t make sense. She said she was from Carman [a residence hall], but she didn’t actually know anything about Carman, and she said she lived in a room that didn’t exist.”
Freshman George Joseph had a similar experience with Patel, who he claims gave him bad directions to the Bronx Zoo.
“She was edgy,” Joseph told the Post. “I asked what classes she was taking, and she mumbled something general like ‘chemistry.’ I asked her where she lives, and she said, ‘Why are you asking so many questions?'”
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