Police: Man interviewed in State College harassment incident

State College police said they have interviewed one man and have identified another in a group involved in what one Penn State graduate student believes was racially motivated harassment.

Police had been seeking the first man after receiving a report from a Penn State graduate student who said she and a friend were harassed outside the Brewery early Saturday.

The students, who are black, told police they were parked in a private lot outside an apartment building in downtown State College when they were confronted by a man who was among five people to exit a nearby bar.

The man allegedly approached the vehicle, questioned the students using expletives and told them they “looked shady.” The same man allegedly exposed his buttocks to the students.

A police officer apparently arrived during a portion of the incident and spoke with the group who left the bar. The graduate student said the the harassment continued after the officer left the scene.

State College police said late Tuesday that the officer was searching for a prowler and was not aware of the reported harassment that had taken place before he arrived at the scene of the incident. He witnessed the exposure and warned the man, police said, but was not aware of the student and her friend sitting in their car across the alley. The officer also was not approached by anyone raising concern about the incident while he was talking to the man. From the officer’s perspective, police said, the exposure did not appear to be directed at anyone other than the women who were with the man.

Police said they interviewed the man who exposed himself to the students and have identified another man who was with him. Police said Tuesday once the investigation is finished, they will consult the district attorney about potential charges in the case.