DETROIT – Wayne State University’s police department wrote to faculty and students on Monday to warn them of multiple fondling incidents that took place on campus on the same day.
According to police, several female students reported separate complaints with similar incident descriptions on Monday, Oct. 10.
First, a 21-year-old student reported that as she was standing by her classroom at about 11 a.m. in the College of Education Building, a man complimented her looks and proceeded to hug her. Police say while he was hugging her, he rubbed her back and chest area. The woman also reported feeling the suspect’s lips on her cheek.
Less than an hour later, a 22-year-old student reported to police that she was in the STEM Innovation Learning Center when a man with the same description knocked on her door. Police say when she opened the door, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her.
Approximately 48 minutes after the report from the STEM building, WSU police got another report from two 19-year-old females. They stated that they were in the Undergraduate Library when a suspect with the same description approached and hugged them. One of the women reported to police she felt his hand touch her outer thigh.
The suspect was last seen getting on the northbound bus on Woodward Avenue.
Wayne State University officials said Monday afternoon that the suspect is in custody. Their identity has not been released. It is unclear what, if any, chargers they may face at this time.
The university listed the following safety tips for its students:
Be aware of your surroundings
Police officers use this term frequently. It means nothing more than simply being aware of what is going on around you and whether or not that activity is normal and expected for the setting. If something seems strange, unusual or suspicious, you are asked to contact the WSU Police immediately at 313-577-2222. Officers will be dispatched immediately to check out the activity.
Notice other people
Look at the people around you, not just a momentary casual glance, but take a good look. Notice if they just glance at you (a normal reaction when making eye contact with a stranger) or if they are watching you. If you notice that they are paying more than momentary attention to you, that may be a red flag that you are about to be targeted.
Open display of valuables
The open display of valuables, including jewelry, cash, and/or high-end electronics (including cell phones, iPads, iPhones, etc) in public places could be just the information a potential thief needs to target you as their next victim.
Trust your instincts
If someone makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and act accordingly. Whether indoors or out, change directions and proceed to areas where other people may be around.
Assess your own vulnerability
Strangers aren’t out to attack YOU. It is nothing personal, they are just looking for the easiest target of opportunity. Your goal, therefore, is to look like somebody who will be too much trouble to mess with. They also want to make you their victim without attracting attention from others. Make it a point, wherever you go, to stay in areas where other people are present. As soon as you enter an area where no one else is around, your guard and defenses should be on alert.
Keep your head up. Look at your surroundings and be aware of them. Headphones may give the impression that you are less aware, as well as being completely engaged in a cell phone conversation.
To reduce your chances of becoming a robbery victim, we recommend you routinely walk in areas where you can see others and others can see you.
Robbery perpetrators, like any other criminal, don’t want to be caught “in the act” of robbing someone. They prefer areas where neither potential victims or witnesses will see them. By staying in populated areas, you increase your chances of never being selected for this type of crime.
Whether you are in the city or the suburbs and you find yourself confronted by a robber, the most important thing that you can do during the incident is to prevent, if possible, any violence. Always assume the robber is armed, even if you can’t see a weapon, and act accordingly. If you are the victim of a robbery, consider these important tips:
- Get it over with quickly. Chances are if you stall, the robber will get nervous and may be more prone to violence.
- Nothing you have or own is worth getting hurt for. Valuables can be replaced, you cannot.
- Do what the robber asks, but do not volunteer to do anything more. Move quickly, but carefully to give the robber exactly what they want.
- Do not fight or try any impulsive heroics. The risks are high if the robber is armed.
- Do not volunteer to go anywhere with the robber or allow them to take you anywhere. The odds are heavily against you if you allow them to take you to a secondary crime scene where they have more privacy and more control over you.
- Do not chase the robber. Carefully note their physical description and the direction they flee in. If they have a vehicle, note its type, make, color and license plate if possible.
- If you have the opportunity to flee, do so immediately. The robber wants your property most of all. Drop it or throw in one direction, then run in the opposite direction, to any area where there may be other people around.
- Call the Wayne State University police immediately at 313-577-2222.