Stalking reported on campus

From University Marketing and Communication

Today at 9:01 a.m., the UTCPD received a report of stalking involving electronic communication received by the victim at both on-campus and off-campus locations. The victim reported to police a previous encounter with this same person on September 27, 2018 at the UTC Library. The suspect has been trespassed from the UTC campus. The suspect is described as a  6’1”, 250lb. African American male who is clean shaven and has balding hair.

An arrest has not been made. The  incident is being investigated by the UTC Police Department. If you see the suspect on campus, please contact the police department at (423) 425-4357.

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This Timely Warning is being sent by the UTC Police Department in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (20 U.S. Code § 1092; 34 CFR 668.46e).  The University takes its duty to inform the community seriously, with the hope that information provided will help you make educated decisions about your own personal safety and how to access resources on and off campus.

Clery defines stalking as “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.  Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.”

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 Stalking and Domestic Violence Safety Tips

·         If possible, have a phone nearby at all times, preferably one to which the stalker has never had access.  Memorize emergency numbers and make sure that 911 and helpful family or friends are on speed dial.

·         Treat all threats, direct and indirect, as legitimate and inform law enforcement immediately.

·         Vary routines, including changing routes to work, school, the grocery store, and other places regularly frequented. Limit time spent alone and try to shop at different stores and visit different bank branches.

·         When out of the house or work environment, try not to travel alone and try to stay in public areas.

·         Get a new, unlisted phone number.  Leave the old number active and connected to an answering machine or voicemail.  Have a friend, advocate, or law enforcement official screen the calls and save any messages from the stalker.  These messages, particularly those that are explicitly abusive or threatening, can be critical evidence for law enforcement to build a stalking case against the offender.

·         Do not interact with the person stalking or harassing you if you can avoid it. Responding to stalker’s actions may reinforce their behavior.

·         Consider obtaining a protective order against the stalker.  Some states offer stalking protective orders and other victims may be eligible for protective orders under their state’s domestic violence statutes.

·         Trust your instincts.  If you’re somewhere that doesn’t feel safe, either find ways to make it safer, or leave.

If in Imminent Danger, Locate a Safe Place.  Consider Going To:

·         Police Station

·         Residences of family or friends (locations unknown to the perpetrators)

·         Place of worship

·         Public areas (some stalkers may be less inclined toward violence or creating a disturbance in public places).

Safety at Home:

·         Identify escape routes out of your house. Teach them to your children.

·         Install solid core doors with dead bolts. If all keys cannot be accounted for, change the locks and secure the spare keys. Fix any broken windows or doors.

·         Have a code word you use with your children that tells them when they need to leave.

·         Inform neighbors and, if residing in an apartment, any on-site managers about the situation, providing them with a photo or description of the stalker and any vehicles they may be known to drive.

·         Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the stalker at your house.  Agree on a signal you will use when you need them to call the police.

·         Pack a bag with important items you’d need if you had to leave quickly. Put the bag in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust.

·         Consider putting together a “stalking sack” that includes the stalking log, a camera, information about the offender, etc.

Safety at Work and School:

·         Give a picture of the stalker to security and friends at work and school.

·         Tell your supervisors. They have a responsibility to keep you safe at work.

·         Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus.

·         If the stalker contacts you, save any voicemails, text messages, and e-mails.

·         Give the school or daycare center a copy of your protective order.  Tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first.

·         Make sure your children know to tell a teacher or administrator at school if they see the stalker.

·         Make sure that the school and work know not to give your address or phone number to anyone.

·         Keep a copy of your protective order at work.

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