Tempe police point finger at apartment complex after reports of two rapesPosted: Updated:
TEMPE --Tempe Police say several apartment complexes that cater to Arizona State University students are facilitating dangerous situations by hosting out-of-control parties in an attempt to attract renters.
Two women reported being raped at a party at one complex this week.
Gateway at Tempe hosted the pool party, which reportedly drew hundreds of people. Police say the management company failed to provide adequate security, creating a "recipe for disaster."
"This is not about a sexual assault investigation, this is about the irresponsibility of a particular apartment complex of a business that went out, invited youth to come in, provided them alcohol and entertainment which led to this particular tragic event," said Tempe Police Cmdr. Kim Hale.
The event was billed as a "Glow in the dark back to school bash" on Facebook.
Gretchen Bracey, the regional general manager for Campus Living Villages, which runs Gateway at Tempe, denied that alcohol was supplied by management and said security was present.
In a statement, Bracey said: "Staff did not provide or dispense alcoholic beverages, nor does management ever condone underage or binge drinking. As is typical for village-wide social gatherings, security guards were present."
But some students who live at the complex and attended the bash said they did not see any security or anyone checking IDs.
ASU junior Kelly Joubert said the party seemed out of control and said when she heard about the alleged rapes the day after the party, she was not surprised.
"We absolutely believed it," she said. "I turned to [my friend] and said, 'I don't doubt it at all.'"
Police said safety issues have been recurring, not just at Gateway but at similar complexes in the area that court the same ASU students and host rowdy, booze-fueled parties.
Many of the management companies post promotional videos of the parties online, showing crowded parties with students dancing to loud music and drinking.
"This is an example of when somebody breaks rank and somebody goes out and chases a dollar trying to fill an apartment complex through these kind of events," Hale said. "We've got to do something to stop that."
In the statement, Bracey said Gateway management was fully cooperating with investigators and would re-examine it's own policies.
"Based on police findings, we will also pursue disciplinary measures, in addition to enhancing existing policies and programs - for staff and residents - related to alcohol safety," she said.
Police said they are opening a criminal investigation into Gateway for possible violations of liquor laws and city code.