Campus Safety urges caution after influx of incidents

By Katie Fata Oct 23, 2020
Ames Library has been the hotspot of a number of encounters in recent weeks. 
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

After a number of encounters on campus, Campus Safety has increased patrols both at Ames Library and other identified areas that could be targeted. The incidents, including two reports of female students being attacked by a male perpetrator and several students being approached by a stranger asking them to engage in his business, have prompted the Bloomington Police Department (BPD) to investigate the cases and increase their patrols both on and around campus. 

In an email sent in late September, Campus Safety Director Mark Welker informed the campus community of the first set of incidents: a female student was grabbed from behind by an unidentifiable assailant and several reports of students that were approached by an unknown male between 20-25 years old with a medium build. 

In response, Campus Safety increased patrols around campus and focused on Ames Library as a location that could continue to be targeted.  

On October 12, at approximately 2:45 p.m., an IWU student was walking on Franklin Street near Emerson and was approached from behind and fondled. The subject, a slender white male, late teens, approximately 5’8, with short blonde hair, then ran from the scene towards campus.

Students have also reported a man in a green car approaching them and asking for help with his vehicle, with most of these incidents taking place on East Street. The man has been reported to have asked students for help because he is new to the school and wants to make friends. Anonymous reports have placed this subject on the Constitution Trail near campus as well. 

Another student described being approached in the Dugout by a man claiming his car had broken down. When she went to Campus Safety to report it, she ran into two more students filing reports of similar incidents with the same individual. 

Due to the influx of safety concerns, Campus Safety has urged students to familiarize themselves with the Blue Light Emergency Phone Tower as well as Titan Transport, a transport service provided to students between 10:00 pm – 2:00 am. Students that feel unsafe are encouraged to call Campus Safety at (309) 556-1111 or or the Bloomington Police Department at 911.

“Remember, it’s okay to trust your instincts,” Welker said. 

Both departments, Campus Safety and BPD, plan to continue to share relevant information, when it is available, in a timely manner. 

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