UPD investigates three reported assaults at WT (UPDATED)

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UPD investigates three reported assaults at WT (UPDATED)

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Update: On Tuesday, Feb. 17, UPD issued a statement that 21-year-old Terrell Maurice Mason of Canyon was arrested without incident and booked into the Randall County Jail. Mason is a WTAMU student but did not live on campus.

West Texas A&M University has had three reported assaults on campus since Jan. 31.

 

The most recent incident was reported on Feb. 15 to the University Police Department. A female resident of Stafford Hall reported an ex-boyfriend entered her dorm after hours, without permission, and attempted to sexually assault her. The assailant was also a WT student. UPD is currently working to contact all individuals involved in this case and will provide the case to the Randall County District Attorney and WTAMU Student Judicial Affairs after further investigation.

 

The second incident was reported on Feb. 11 when a female was pushed up against her vehicle by an unknown Hispanic male in his early 30s. The female had her keys in hand and was able to set off the vehicle alarm and the male ran away. UPD will continue to look for this individual and is requesting any additional information.

 

On Jan. 31 a female was sexually assaulted in Jarrett Hall by a WT student known to the victim. The victim went to a local hospital in Amarillo. The Title IX Coordinator for WT has been notified of the incident.

 

“The case is still under investigation at this time,” Shawn Burns, Chief of Police at West Texas A&M University, said. “The University Police Department is a full service police department and employs investigators as a part of our department.”

 

When a case of sexual assault happens there is a specific process that goes with it. Once a report is made it is immediately assigned to a detective. Evidence and suspects are reviewed and once all that is gathered it goes through a District Attorney office for consideration and potential charges. With a case of this nature the District Attorney will present all gathered information to a grand jury and they decide if there will be a warrant for that persons arrest. The assault reported on Feb. 1 is still in the process of being presented to the District Attorney.

 

“The University police department has always provided assistance,” Burns said. “The more people notify us the more we are able to stop an issue before it gets serious.”

 

In a recent interview with some female students around campus, many expressed concern when walking to their cars after dusk.

 

“Sometimes I feel scared when I walk to my car,” Lluvia Vidaña, senior Public Relations major, said. “When I park close to my classes I feel secure but it still feels a little scary with all the emails and alerts we get.”

 

Other female students reported carrying pepper spray or a whistle with them. Students are able to contact UPD for an escort to their cars anytime.

“You are not alone,” Edward Akinyemi Student Body President, said. “Here you have a home, and here you can trust people.”

 

 

 

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