Velez, 20, was apprehended yesterday by campus police on the West Campus main quadrangle. Not a Duke student, he is being held at Durham County Jail on $5,000 bond. When Velez initially resisted arrest, officers used pepper spray to subdue him, and a video of the incident taken by a bystander has circulated on social media.
Velez has been charged with trespassing on Duke's campus twice in the past, said Chief of Duke Police John Dailey—first in January 2013, when he stole a motorcycle, and again in May 2013, in which he was found carrying a pocket knife while trespassing.
Junior Alexa Frink was studying on the fourth floor of Perkins when she left her seat to fill up her water bottle. When she returned, her backpack—including her laptop, a camera and her wallet—was gone. A student sitting nearby had seen Frink's possessions being taken and helped her report the crime, including a description of the suspect.
When Velez was seen boarding a bus at the West Campus bus stop—carrying a backpack that officers said matched Frink's, in addition to matching the description of the suspect himself—he was stopped by police. Velez refused to exit the bus and was escorted off by officers, said Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh.
Velez then allegedly resisted arrest, before being forced to the ground and pepper sprayed by five police officers, as is seen in the video filmed by freshman Gilbert Brooks.
The legal case will proceed through the state court system, Dailey said, and Duke will participate in court processes as necessary.