Sources: Mary Todd, 785-532-6444, firstname.lastname@example.org; Don Stubbings, 785-532-6412, email@example.com
Drawing of suspect available on our Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/aug09/suspect82509.html
News release prepared by: Cheryl May, 785-532-6415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009
K-STATE WOMEN'S CENTER DIRECTOR ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO STAY ALERT WHEN WALKING OR JOGGING AT NIGHT
MANHATTAN -- The director of Kansas State University's Women's Center, Mary Todd, is advising men and women to be -- as usual -- alert to their surroundings and on the lookout for a male who accosted a young woman Aug. 16.
Todd, K-State police and the Riley County Police Department are asking students to be aware of this potentially dangerous individual in the area. On Sunday, Aug. 16, two women walking near campus were accosted by an unknown white male wearing dark colored shorts, dark shoes, no shirt, with brown hair and a scraggly beard about 6'2 to 6'3, and about 180 pounds. He was described as being in his late 20s to early 30s. Anyone seeing someone fitting the description is asked to call the police: K-State Police 532-6412; RCPD 537-2112; or Crime Stoppers 539-7777. Silent witness tips can be left at http://www.k-state.edu/police/silent
The suspect grabbed one of the young women from behind, knocked her down and tried to sexually assault her, and then fled the scene, Todd said. The same male was spotted in the area again the following Thursday night, Aug. 20.
Although the crime that occurred was a sexual battery, criminals who commit this type of crime tend to escalate their activities and their crimes become increasingly more serious, Todd said.
"We advise all students, male and female, to be attentive to their surroundings, and to stick with friends after dark," Todd said. “Across the country, both males and females on college campuses can be targeted for crimes of robbery, sexual battery, rape and assault. Particularly in the early weeks of school, while surroundings are new to many students, perpetrators who do have knowledge of the area can disappear quickly.
K-State Police Capt. Don Stubbings encourages students to take advantage of programs like the Wildcat Walk escort provided by security officers and members of the K-State Police. Phone 785-395-SAFE (785-395-7233).
"We recommend students use those services which are available," Stubbings said. "This is a valuable service with no cost to the student."
Additionally, female students need to be especially on guard as they make new friends and attend the many social gatherings of the fall semester.
"Most of the sexual assaults we will deal with will have happened at parties or after social gatherings in Aggieville or elsewhere, and perpetrated by individuals acquainted with the victims," Todd said. "Perpetrators often rely on alcohol and drugs to make victims vulnerable to attack, and target those who they think are alone, intoxicated, or vulnerable. It is important to stick with trusted friends at parties and to realize that rapists initially look and act like any other student."
Todd encouraged men to look up the rules of legal consent on the Women's Center Web page, and emphasized that K-State men and women can look out for one another.
"Many students have great plans to stick together and look out for each other," Stubbings said, "however, when alcohol is consumed often those plans dissolve. Officers pay special attention to students who appear intoxicated and are getting walks home from unknown people. It is not uncommon for an officer to stop people to make sure they know each other and that the person is safe before letting someone go with a stranger."
Any K-State student who is the victim of a violent crime can contact the Victim's Advocate at 206 Holton Hall or visit the Web page http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/
Visit http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/campussafety/ for more information about safety.