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Students intimidated off campus, no new leads


Clery Warning Graphic

Mira Braneck, Staff Writer

Another Pioneer Alert Warning, detailing an incident of intimidation of students off campus, was sent out early last Saturday morning, April 16. Though the notice follows other Clery notifications, it was not labeled as a Clery timely warning.

According to Grinnell Chief of Police Teresa Peterson, four students were walking from Casey’s General Store back to campus when a truck pulled in front of them at around 11 p.m. last Friday night. A man stepped out and claimed that they had thrown something at his truck. He had something in his hands that students thought to be a weapon.

A GPD officer obtained security footage from Casey’s and students gave a physical description of the man, but the perpetrator has not been identified. Peterson stressed that a license plate number is vital to identifying the man.

“Getting a license plate number is so important for things like [this] … and we couldn’t get that off the video from Casey’s,” she said. “We don’t even know what he had [in his hand]. He didn’t threaten to shoot them or kill them.”

Regarding the charges that could be brought forward, Peterson said that “at the very least you’d have maybe harassment if you could prove that they guy was trying to intimidate them somehow. … Right now [the case is] inactive unless we can find something else.”

Saturday’s notice follows a series of warnings issued earlier this semester. Five Clery Warnings, detailing incidents of indecent exposure, students being filmed in the shower, and the assault and intimidation of a student outside of Bucksbaum, were issued spanning from February 25 through March 9. While the two instances of indecent exposure have seemingly been resolved, the perpetrator(s) of the two incidents of filming of students in the shower and one student being attacked remains elusive.

“The flasher is gone,” said Russ Motta, the Interim Manager of Campus Safety and Security. “I believe we’ve got [him] identified. GPD has talked to the person, he is not from the College, he is not from Grinnell, he is from out of state and he left.”

Motta has not heard of any legal action being taken by the police department.

“That would have been up to GPD,” he said. “I know that part of the issue was that some of the people that observed the flasher had difficulty identifying the person that we believe was the person that did it.”

Peterson was unaware of the incidents of indecent exposure.

“If there was any way that we could have identified this person and arrested them for whatever it was that they were doing, we would have. We wouldn’t let somebody, just because they’re from out of state … [leave],” she said. “If there’s a charge there, we’re going to charge them. Even if they did skip the state, if they had a charge, we would get a warrant. Just the fact that the guy left and there wasn’t any charge tells me that there wasn’t enough to go anywhere with it.”

While no other issues have occurred, Campus Safety and Security officers are still looking for leads on the other incidents.

“We need somebody to come forward and give us some more information,” Motta said.

In the meantime, one extra security guard brought in specifically to walk around and monitor the resident halls as a means to increase surveillance on campus. Motta plans for the increased surveillance to continue through the end of the year and hopes that someone will come forward with information.

“We don’t want [those things] going on,” he said.

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