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Officials: MS-13 gang will NOT invade Catholic U

Rumors of an impending assault on female students at the Catholic University of America by the violent street gang MS-13 reached such a pitch that university officials responded Thursday with a campus-wide e-mail.

"I am writing to inform the Catholic University community that recent rumors of an alleged attack by MS-13 gang members on Catholic University students this coming weekend are absolutely false," wrote Thomasine Johnson, director of public safety.

The rumors "allege that gang members are planning to assault several CUA female students as an initiation rite," Johnson wrote. "These rumors are urban legend."

But students and staff apparently took them seriously enough that the public safety department contacted the Intelligence Unit of the D.C. police, which concluded that the rumors were baseless.

Johnson wrote that the rumors might have arisen from speculation about graffiti on Spellman Hall, a residential housing facility, that reads simply "2013."

The rumor suggests that 2013 relates somehow to MS-13.

Johnson offers a more plausible solution.

"It is simply graffiti," she wrote, "perhaps left by a member of the Class of 2013."

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By Daniel de Vise  | October 29, 2010; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  Public safety, Students  | Tags:  CUA MS-13, CUA gang attack, Catholic MS-13 gang rumor, Catholic University rumor  
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