UPD makes arrest in improper photography case

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UPD makes arrest in improper photography case

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West Texas A&M University Police made an arrest on Jan. 22 after it was reported that there was a suspicious looking man in the Virgil Henson Activity Center Women’s locker room the day prior. The eyewitness report also states that the suspect fled on foot after being confronted while taking pictures of a minor in the women’s locker room. 37-year-old James Vincent was photographing a minor that was in a private stall at the time of the incident.

 

Vincent was arrested without incident for Improper Photography or Visual Recording and booked into Randall County Jail. The search for Vincent was a joint one between UPD and the Amarillo Police Department and was arrested inside his home.

 

According to the campus crime alert sent out to students, faculty and staff, “Vincent is believed to have been an employee of a sub-contractor working in the Virgil Henson Activities Center and not an employee of WTAMU.”

 

Some students haven’t been affected by the report stating that it is just part of the society we live in. Sophomore Sports Science Major Tina Dumas said she is not worried about the situation.

 

“Things like this happen all the time and that’s why we have the UPD,” Dumas said. “I’m not worried about these kind of things because they will always be caught. It is just the world we live in.”

 

Other students, such as Junior Education Major Shelly Fuentes, aren’t so reassured. Fuentes is a mother and says she looks at these situations differently than those of some of her classmates.

 

“It can happen to anyone at any time,” Fuentes said. “I know we are safe and the UPD does a great job, but I still get an uneasy feeling whenever no one is around me.”

 

Director of Police Administration Meri Lyn Odell said that this situation is extremely rare. The VHAC sees anywhere between 400 to 500 people a day and though members of the community can receive memberships to the center, suspicious activity and people who appear to not belong are to be reported to staff members immediately.

 

“This situation is unique and we believe it was a one-time incident,” Odell said. “The victim was not one of our students.”

Director Odell also gave a few safety tips for students and faculty.

 

“Be prepared for any situation. Be aware and alert of the other people around you, and trust your instincts,” Odell said.

Odell also stated that it important to remove yourself from any potentially harmful situations.

 

The UPD regularly sends out emails and posts about activity that is happening on and around campus. Students can also be alerted via the Buff Alert app and sign up for   Buff Alerts through their Buff email.

 

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