Over the past few weeks, the Colgate community has been notified by Campus Safety about a white male operating a gold vehicle harassing female members of the community, of which the first incident occurring on Sunday, October 13. There were three other incidents that occurred on October 16, 21 and 22, which Campus Safety believes were all connected. The suspicious male suspect in these cases, according to Campus Safety advisories, was described as early to mid-20s, with a medium build, blonde hair, stubble on his face and wearing a baseball hat.
In each of the three incidents, the suspect approached the victim by slowing down his car and attempting to start a conversation. Specifically concerning the incident on October 22, the suspect repeatedly asked a female student if she wanted to see his genitals. In the other incidents, the suspect offered rides to the females, but in all four reports, the victims declined interaction with the suspect and reported the events directly to Campus Safety, who immediately followed up on the reports and notified the Hamilton Police Department.
Campus Safety e-mailed safety advisories in hopes of solving this ongoing issue in a timely matter. They hoped that by distributing this information, it would increase the awareness of community members and they would keep an eye out for the suspect. Campus Safety received license plate information about the suspected car through their tip line, and this information allowed the Hamilton Police Department to confirm the identity of the suspect, locate, and then arrest him on October 23. The Police Department plans to press charges against the individual.
“It came down to a joint effort between our staff and the police department,” Director of Campus Safety Bill Ferguson said.
According to Ferguson, Campus Safety is obligated to inform the campus about certain incidents because of a federal law known as the Clery Act, which requires Campus Safety to alert the campus community to certain crimes in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes, according to their handbook. Campus Safety was not required to put out Safety Advisories about these incidents because they were of a less serious nature, but Ferguson believed that it was something that the community should know about.
“I wanted to let the community know that something took place and to be aware and on the lookout. Members of the community should take action on their own to prevent being a victim,” Ferguson said.
According to Campus Safety, the level of safety on campus has not changed as a result of these incidents. The officers are still working hard to protect community members and to prevent incidents like these from occurring again. It is important that the members of the community continue to make smart decisions and help Campus Safety by reporting incidents as they occur.
“I’m very pleased with the amount of public feedback through the tip line and people reporting incidents. I am happy to see quickness of reports; it is important to keep this campus safe,” Ferguson said.
Contact Lindsay Wasserman at [email protected]