The Oakland Post

Arrest made after on-campus assault

OUPD shares advice on addressing unwanted sexual advances

Shelby Tankersley, Campus Editor

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When a female student took a male student up on a cup of coffee, he decided to try and take advantage of her. On Oct. 3, that male student committed a simple assault and was arrested a few days later.

Lieutenant Nicole Thompson from the Oakland University Police Department gave an account of what happened and how the suspect was found.

What happened

The suspect approached the female outside of the Oakland Center, made a comment about what she was wearing and asked if he could buy her a coffee, which she accepted. After they had some coffee, he offered to walk her to her car in Parking Lot 24.

When they arrived at the lot, the suspect made attempts to hold the female’s hand, put his arm around her waist and kiss her. She had a slit in the side of her pants, which he slid his hand into. That particular incident was reported as assault.

The female made loud protests to his advances and drew the attention of a witness nearby, which led the suspect to hesitate. While he was distracted, she was able to get in her car and drive away unharmed.

The next day, the female student came into the police station and reported what had happened to her.

In response, OUPD made sure the female was OK, then sent out a description of the suspect and the incident to the OU community via email. There was no video of the incident, so OUPD hoped their description would help identify the suspect.

A student was able to identify the suspect as someone they knew based on OUPD’s email and called OUPD to report him. Based on that report and several others that all implicated the same man, OUPD was able to find and arrest the suspect.

What to do when this happens

Thompson stressed that the female in this situation did exactly what she should have done. Thompson said that reporting the incident right away was a big part of OUPD being able to find and stop the suspect from doing this to someone else. She said calling OUPD or reporting incidents shortly after they happen can make a difference.

She also pointed out that the witness to the situation, who became a distraction during the assault, did what bystanders should do. Thompson said that being an “active bystander” means keeping an eye out for problems and being willing to help when they do happen.

OUPD also teaches Rape Aggression Defense, also known as RAD, to female students on campus, free of charge. Thompson said the course helps empower and educate female students on how to protect themselves.

OUPD currently offers several RAD courses. To sign up or find more information, visit oupolice.com/services/rad.

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