The Cornell University Police Department charged Alexander P. Sovocool ’13 on Saturday for falsely reporting that he was robbed by two unknown suspects.
David Honan, deputy chief of Cornell Police, said that Sovocool’s story did not hold up after investigation. Sovocool reported he was robbed at knife point along the Cascadilla Gorge trail, Honan said.
“When we examined the evidence and the statements made to us, and during the course of the investigation, we determined that the facts of the case did not match up to what he had told us,” Honan said. Honan declined to elaborate on how CUPD determined Sovocool’s reports were false, citing the open status of the case.
CUPD sent a crime alert just before 5 a.m. Saturday detailing the incident. At 9:29 p.m., CUPD sent out a second alert that contained Sovocool’s name and stated that he had been formally charged for fabricating the first report.
Sovocool, an archeology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, declined to comment Sunday.
Honan said that the second update was not intended to be sent out as a crime alert to the entire Cornell community and was only meant to be seen on Cornell’s website.
“That update was intended just for [the] special conditions webpage,” Honansaid. “We did not intend for that to come out by email.”
Honan said that crime alert emails are reserved for “timely warnings” as defined by the 1990 Clery Act; when there is a crime reported that could “[constitute] a serious or continuing threat to students and employees or the greater institution community.”
According to Honan, another case of falsely reporting an incident occurred last May, when an individual reported they had been robbed near Hughes Hall. The individual was referred to the Cornell Judicial Administrator. Sovocool’s eligibility for referral to the Judicial Administrator was unclear as of Sunday night.
“I am unable to comment on any referral to the Judicial Administrator related to this case,” Honan said.