By Jared Fields, Editor in Chief
ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said the department has no suspect for an Oct. 1 incident in which a man exposed himself to a student.
The department sent a campus-wide crime alert Oct. 4 to inform ACU faculty, staff and students about the incident.
Erica Findley was walking home when she noticed the man in the SUV. Findley, a junior art major from Bakersfield, Calif., walked past the SUV when it was parked and noticed the man. After passing, he started the vehicle and turned on the street she was crossing to walk down. The vehicle parked ahead of her and on the opposite side of the street from Findley.
As Findley passed, she looked over to see who the person was and instead saw the man, still in the SUV, exposing himself.
Findley said she wanted to just walk to her roommate’s car in front of her house and get in to feel safer. Then, she said she wanted to drive back to get the license plate number with a better sense of security than if she were still walking.
However, the man pulled away and drove off in the opposite direction of Findley before she could get to her house.
“I turned back around and kept walking,” Findley said. “I was maybe a couple of houses away before I got to my house.” “He turned on the car and just went the other way.” Ellison said the alert achieves a number of goals to help the community and the department. Other than complying with the Clery Act, which requires the police to notify the community when something could pose a threat, releasing the alert also makes more people aware of their surroundings.
“It gives [women] something to think about as far as being more cautious while they’re out,” Ellison said. He added, “It makes everyone more alert and more likely to call in if they see something.”
While there is no suspect, Ellison said he is trying to increase side street patrols and is maintaining close contact with other police departments for similar reports.
“It’s the proverbial needle in the haystack,” Ellison said. “Sometimes you have to wait.”
The department has no license plate for evidence, and has just a description of an “older white male with white/ grey hair driving an older model, unknown make small SUV,” to use in the investigation.
Ellison said the incident isn’t common at ACU, but it still occurs often enough for people to be on the lookout for strange behavior.
“It does happen from time to time,” Ellison said. “When people do see suspicious activity, we not only need people to report it as soon as possible, but we also need as much info as possible.”