Update on suspicious man says he drove red van

Corryn Brock, News Editor

According to an Alert EIU sent Thursday, the alleged male suspect accused of slapping two women on their buttocks Monday and Tuesday night is believed to be driving a red van.

The original alert sent Wednesday said the women involved describe the alleged suspect as a skinny white male, approximately 6 feet tall with glasses and beard.

Tuesday’s victim said the alleged suspect appeared to be balding and wearing a baggy shirt, cargo shorts and a baseball cap at the time of the incident involving her.

The incidents were reported to have happened in the 1500 and 1600 blocks of 4th Street between Lincoln and Grant avenues. 

Another woman, who will not be named due to safety concerns, claimed to have had an encounter with the alleged suspect in the X-Lot.

An incident of a suspicious man in a parking lot in Greek Court was heard being reported over a police scanner around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. 

The responding University Police Department officer could not comment on whether the incident was related to the other three but said the department was working with the Charleston Police Department to control the situation.

On Wednesday, University Police Department Chief Kent Martin recommended people being aware of their surroundings, traveling with people at night and letting someone know where you are going.

“Incidents like this thankfully are rare, we’ve got a safe campus and we’re working very hard and very diligently to keep it that way. If anyone is ever uncomfortable or has any qualms about being out and about or any concern about getting where they are going, I would encourage them to get ahold of us,” Martin said Wednesday. “We’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we can help someone get where they’re going safely, that’s the main thing, that’s why we’re here.”

Amanda Feder, Director of Prevention at the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services, said Wednesday the community should try to help with preventing other incidents from occurring if possible.

“If we see somebody being isolated or targeted, stand up and basically perform bystander intervention and make sure they are safe and walk them back to their apartment or to a safe place like the union to get them out of that situation,” Feder said Wednesday. “I think it really falls on the rest of us and it’s hard to just give individual pointers for people who aren’t being targeted.”

A bystander training will be hosted by Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union at 3:30 p.m. next Wednesday for those interested in learning how to be an active bystander.   

In case of emergency, call 911 or contact the University Police Department at 581-3212.   

Blue emergency phones are also located around campus for students. 

Anyone with information on the incidents can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-345-8488 or at colescountycrimestoppers.org.   

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].