A former student at the University of Hartford has been charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace after bragging online about contaminating her roommate’s belongings with bodily fluids, including rubbing dirty tampons on her backpack and putting her toothbrush “places where the sun doesn’t shine.”
Eighteen-year-old Brianna Brochu appeared in court Wednesday. A judge banned her from the campus in central Connecticut and ordered her not to have any contact with her former dormitory roommate, Chennel Rowe, pending the conclusion of the case, according to the Hartford Courant.
Authorities told the Courant that Brochu, who is white, also faces a hate-crime charge stemming from the alleged actions against her roommate, who is black.
Last month, Brochu allegedly wrote on Instagram that she finally “got rid of her roommate,” whom she referred to as “Jamaican Barbie.”
“After 1½ month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons [on] her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more, I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie,” the post read, according to court records obtained by Heavy.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Brochu posted pictures, including one of a bag stained with a “reddish brown substance” that she later acknowledged was “period blood,” one of a food container filled with a milky substance and one of hair extensions with the caption, “This b—- legit bought a box of f—ing hair.”
University of Hartford President Greg Woodward said in a letter Wednesday to the campus community that following the “deeply disturbing situation,” Brochu is no longer a student at the school. He said the university took immediate action once it learned about the allegations, notifying campus authorities and the West Hartford Police Department, which opened an investigation on Oct. 18.
Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brochu was arrested Saturday after telling police that she started to lash out at Rowe after she posted videos of Brochu sleeping and teasing her for snoring, according to court documents.
She told police that she did lick Rowe’s “plate, fork and spoon,” rub a used tampon on her backpack and mix Rowe’s lotions together, but she said that everything else she bragged about online was not true, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Brochu had not yet been assigned an attorney in the case.
Rowe recounted the ordeal Monday in a Facebook Live video, saying that she had been experiencing throat pain for weeks and did not know why. She told police earlier this month that a nurse had advised her she had a “bacteria present in her throat” and Rowe suspected it was caused by “Brochu tampering with her personal items,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Rowe said in the Facebook video that she learned about Brochu’s social media post when she was approached by a former neighbor and two resident assistants as she was switching dorm rooms.
The university president called the incident “deeply upsetting.”
“One of our students was the alleged victim of bullying and her story was shared across social media,” Woodward said Tuesday in a letter to the campus.
“The incident has brought about accusations of racism, and I want you to know that I hear and share your anger and frustration,” he said. “Acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated on this campus. I pledge to do everything in my power to work with our community to address related concerns together.”
Woodward said the University of Hartford “is not exempt from issues facing our society and world” and encouraged others to come forward with concerns.
“We must strive every day to practice understanding, tolerance, inclusion, and grace,” he said. “I know that you will join me in this critical mission.”