The New York police last night arrested a young con artist whose year-long trail of deception took him through a string of Harvard dormitories and who apparently secured over night visits at several Manhattan apartments by posing as a Harvard student.
David Hampton 19 was apprehended outside a Greenwich Village movie theater, where he had arranged to meet one of the families who had unsuspectingly taken him in earlier in the month.
Hampton was charged with petty larceny fraudulent accosting and criminal impersonation police officials said. He is scheduled to be arranged tomorrow morning at Manhattan Criminal Court.
The maximum sentence for each count is one year in prison. The number of counts Hampton will be charged with was unclear last night.
Police officials said they have received 15 similar complaints in the last three weeks about the man. The victims accounts typically described a surprise visit by a stranger who identified himself as a Harvard student the actor Sidney pointer's son and the friend of one of the resident's relatives.
The stranger would usually then explain that he had been mugged and needed a place to stay overnight and some cash to borrow. The next morning he would move on.
Kenneth Kleinlein the detective who coordinated the investigation of Hampton, said last night that he is the same person as a mysterious young man who spent about a week at Harvard last fall posing as a prospective freshman and circulating among scores of undergraduates. In November Hampton was converted of larceny and breaking into an Adams House room.
Students who met Hampton during his strange visit Harvard described him yesterday as a brilliant liar and constant name dropper.
The Adams student whose room was burglarized recalled that Hampton told him his mother was a vice president at the Esteem Lauder cosmetics company and that his father was chairman of the board of the Schlitz brewery. He also claimed he was on his way to a wine tasting in Rome, said the student, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.
The student said Hampton visited and telephoned him on several occasions until he told Hampton to stop harassing him. Shortly afterwards a large assortment of the student's books and notes was stolen. Hampton was eventually arrested for the crime found guilty and given a three month suspended sentence.
During at least part of his stay at Harvard. Hampton stayed in the room of a Winthrop House student with whom he had apparently attached high school briefly in Buffalo, N.Y. According to one of the student's roommates, Charles W. Slack '83, Hampton told them he was in town for an admissions interview.
A few days later he told them he would be staying later than he had planned because he had missed his plane to Europe, where he purportedly planned to meet his mother to go shopping in Rome and skiing in Switzerland. Slack said.
Hampton also claimed he was a close.