Photo: Diane Bondareff/AP Images
In one of the more bizarre stories we’ve heard about college freshman, a young woman was just arrested for spending two weeks at Columbia University pretending to be a freshman, the Columbia Spectator reports.She allegedly told her “fellow classmates” that her name was Rhea Sen.
In reality, she’s a 26 year-old woman named Briva Patel, and no one has any idea where she was really staying during her two weeks as a Columbia freshman or where she came from.
The first week of life as a Columbia first year is orientation, where you’re under the guidance of Orientation Leaders who head activities on campus and trips around the city.
It’s on one of those trips where you really see the danger of having Sen on campus. She befriended a student named Cami Quarta, en route to the Bronx Zoo. Quarta just thought Sen was awkward and lost, so she started hanging out with her, and here’s what happened (from the Spectator):
On her way to the party at the Bronx Zoo that capped off orientation week, Quarta and a friend wound up on the subway with Sen. Even though Quarta had been told to take the train to 180th Street, Sen showed her a text message she claimed to be from her OL instructing her to get off at an earlier stop and take a bus. The two heeded Sen’s advice, winding up far from their intended destination. A helpful police officer steered the three of them back on the subway.
“If I was alone, I don’t know where I would’ve wound up,” Quarta said. “That was probably the first sign that showed she might have been a risk.”
She later sent Quarta threatening Facebook messages littered with expletives in English and Hindi (which you can see here).
During here stay, Sen gained access to the dining hall (John Jay), told various stories about what dorm she was living in, and, on top of that, was even caught her hiding in bushes by students.
She was finally found out when Orientation Leaders approached her, asking for her Student ID. After some questioning, Sen ran away. She was apprehended by campus police on Thursday and later taken into custody by the NYPD.
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