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University Police released information yesterday about the Oct. 11 incident in which a Spruce College House associate master was pepper sprayed and arrested following a "miscommunication" with a police officer.

At approximately 11:20 a.m., Rui DaSilva, who lives in Spruce with his wife, Director of American and Latino Studies and Faculty Master Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, and their two children, was stopped by the officer while he and another man were legally transporting bicycles on Spruce Street between 36th and 37th streets, according to Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush.

DaSilva was issued a summary citation for disorderly conduct, Rush said. He was not cited with resisting arrest, despite information to the contrary previously provided by the University.

After reviewing the incident, the UPPD asked the district attorney's office to "withdraw prosecution," and the DA complied, Rush said.

DaSilva "did not appear in court -- he has no record of this," she said.

At the time of the incident, a female police officer saw "two gentlemen traveling eastbound on Spruce" Street between the two Quadrangle entrances on 36th and 37th streets, according to Rush. One man was pulling one bicycle while the second, DaSilva, was pushing one and carrying a second on his shoulder.

The officer tried to engage the gentlemen in conversation a few times, Rush said.

"We don't know why, but there was no response," she said.

The officer tried to get both men to move and stand next to each other, and though the second individual moved, DaSilva refused for the duration of a conversation that lasted longer than three minutes, Rush said. After threatening to do so a few times, the police officer sprayed DaSilva with pepper spray, hitting him in the face on the fourth attempt.

At that point, DaSilva released the bicycles, lay down and was handcuffed, Rush said. As is routine when someone is pepper sprayed, he was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to be treated before he was brought in to the UPPD at 4040 Chestnut St. for processing. He sustained no injuries.

DaSilva declined to comment on his arrest.

Rush explained that due to the unusually high number of bike thefts on and around campus recently, police "officers have been very cognizant" about suspicious behavior possibly involving stolen bicycles.

"There was a communication gap obviously," Rush said. "It's a stressful situation for everyone."

She added, "It's clear to me that [DaSilva] is a great citizen of Penn."

Rush emphasized that due to the high number of bike thefts, police will continue to be vigilant about looking for suspicious behavior, but that "it's clear that there needs to be work on communicating what needs to be done when stopped by the police."

"It's a difficult situation. It's a difficult environment to police. We have to look at everyone's rights," Rush said, noting that last week police met with minority students to discuss this and related issues.

Spruce College House faculty and staff, including resident advisers and graduate associates, have and will continue to meet about the incident involving DaSilva, according to College senior Eunice Kim, a residential adviser.

Rush said that police have also met with DaSilva and Farnsworth-Alvear, adding, "We're certainly open to continuing the dialogue."

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