Police arrest suspect in sexual assault case

Authorities arrested a man Friday suspected of being involved in a sexual assault that took place near campus Jan. 14. Authorities from the university are asking students not to be alarmed, but to stay cautious and aware.

Mark Anthony Beecham, a convicted sex offender, was arrested at the Adams Street Petro gas station near Palmetto Phase III apartments.

“The individual arrested is not a student,” said LaNedra Carroll, director of university relations and public affairs.

“From what I know, he had been communicating with a friend at Phase III Apartments,” the university spokeswoman said. “FAMU police have had an interest in (Beecham) because of past sexual assault convictions.”

The Tallahassee Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Beechem, who was wanted in other sexual assault cases, said Officer Sherri Luke of the FAMU Police Department.

“We have arrested a suspect,” Luke said. “This does not mean that students should not remain aware and stay informed.”

She emphasized that Beecham is only “a suspect,” therefore students should remain vigilant. Luke said students living in a college town like Tallahassee should always be alert.

“We urge students under all circumstances to take precautions when walking late at night and to never walk alone,” Carroll said.

“Authorities do have a suspect under arrest, and we want students to know that they should not be alarmed,” she continued.

FAMU PD is urging students to contact them to report suspicious individuals or activities. They can be reached at (850) 599-3256.