BOWLING GREEN - The excitement of a Bowling Green State University freshman's first day of classes this week ended in a nightmare when her roommate allegedly attacked her with a hot iron.
Heather Haase, 18, of Jefferson, Ohio, in Ashtabula County, was taken to Wood County Hospital, then to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center with a skull fracture, bruises, cuts, and a burn, university police said. She was released Tuesday, a spokesman there said.
Her roommate, Sharronda A. Barkley, 18, of Macedonia, Ohio, in Summit County, was charged with felonious assault. Bond was set at $25,000, and she remained in the county jail yesterday. During a video arraignment Tuesday in Bowling Green Municipal Court, Judge Mark Reddin ordered that Ms. Barkley have no contact with Ms. Haase and that she not return to BGSU. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 31.
Freshmen arrived on campus last Thursday and attended their first classes Monday. Early Tuesday, according to the BGSU police report, Ms. Haase returned to her room in Anderson Hall. Her roommate told her they needed to talk about "cameras in the room."
"Sharronda accused her of having a hidden camera in the room," Officer Justin Penrose said in his report after interviewing Ms. Haase. "Sharronda took a hot flatiron and started to hit Heather in the head and burning her arm."
Ms. Haase told Sgt. Dennis Ehlers her roommate had met her in the hallway and asked her to come to the room so "she could show her something."
"Once in the room, Barkley asked Haase if they had done anything with the cameras in the room. Haase said they did not find any cameras and had no idea what Barkley was talking about. This is when Barkley turned around and started hitting Haase with the clothes iron," Sergeant Ehlers' report said.
Ms. Barkley told police she hadn't hit her roommate.
"Barkley said that Haase was trying to get down from the bed when she fell and hit her head on the iron," Sergeant Ehlers said in his report. "I asked Barkley how the iron had gotten behind the door and Barkley could not tell me."
Police noted the iron was broken in two. The sergeant's report indicated Ms. Haase "was covered with blood on her face area and down the front of her shirt." Patrolman Penrose wrote when he arrived, Ms. Haase "was sitting on the ground with blood on her face and hands holding her head."
Two witnesses told police they heard Ms. Barkley yell in the hallway, "I will hit her again," and "Just take me away," according to the police report.
BGSU Police Chief James Wiegand said the incident was highly unusual.
"You have two young ladies that go off to college with an expectation of obtaining an education and hopefully having a good time, and they're not here a week and one of them is severely injured and the other ends up in jail. That's not the way it's supposed to go," he said.
Chief Wiegand could not recall a similar incident.
BGSU spokesman Teri Sharp said Ms. Barkley has been placed on interim suspension.
"That means she would not be allowed to attend classes, and the disciplinary process has begun and that's independent of any criminal investigation or charges," she said.
Students living at Anderson Hall were urged to speak with counselors if they felt anxious or upset about the incident. "As I understand it, most people were fairly calm about it," Ms. Sharp said. "The assailant had been removed from campus and would not be coming back. That eased their mind."
Ms. Haase could not be reached for comment.
Jennifer Feehan contributed to this report.
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