MU student admits to lying about break-in

Kyle Reynolds and Kyle Reynolds

Police investigation into a recent flood of campus crimes at Miami University uncovered that one of the crimes was made up.

About a month ago you may have read a story in the BG News that mentioned a student at Miami University who claimed a burglar broke into her apartment and tried to rape her. But now the Oxford Police Department says that her claim was false.

Miami University student Allison Harrold made up a story that a white male attempted to break into her apartment and assault her Jan. 9, police say.

That false claim was made in a week in which three other crimes had been committed, which caused the Miami University to issue four campus crime alerts.

According to Sergeant Jim Squance of the Oxford Police Department, Harrold’s claim incited panic in students and throughout the community.

‘We got calls from concerned parents about it, and the university issued a campus crime alert about it, which caused even more panic among students,’ Squance said.

Police began to investigate the legitimacy of her claim after hearing from other students that she may have made the story up.

When police questioned Harrold about the case last week, she admitted that she had lied about the whole incident.

She was charged by the Oxford Police Department with two first-degree misdemeanor charges of making a false report and inciting panic.

Harrold is scheduled to face a judge tomorrow at Oxford’s Area One Court, and she will also have to face Miami’s Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution at a later date.

According to Squance, the punishment for a crime like this could include jail time.

‘Jail time is a possibility, maybe a fine, or maybe even both. It just depends on what the judge sees to be fit,’ Squance said.

According to Jim Wiegand, BGSU’s chief of police, incidents in which students make false police reports are rare, but it has happened a couple times at the University within the past few years.

‘False claims aren’t the norm; most of the complaints we receive are legitimate claims from people who need help,’ Wiegand said. ‘We haven’t had any this year, but we’ve had a couple within the past few years.’

Not only can false reports induce panic, but they can take time away from police work on real cases.

‘It hurts a small agency like us because we only have three detectives here, and it takes away from our time to investigate legitimate claims,’ Squance said.

Another crime was spawned from the false claim made on Jan. 9 – this one committed on

Miami student James Sharpe was arrested and charged with inducing panic when two female students contacted the Oxford Police Department because he posted the composite sketch of the rape suspect as his profile picture on the site.

Sharpe’s hearing is also scheduled for tomorrow at Oxford’s Area One Court.