By Corey Kleinsasser
On March 19 at 2:15 p.m., a female student was sitting on a bench at the northeast entrance of the Bronco Bookstore when a suspect initiated conversation with her and then made unwanted sexual contact. He then followed her into the Bronco Student Center and again attempted contact without her consent. The student exited the BSC shortly after, and the suspect stopped following her and left the area.
University Police Sergeant Matt Lynn and the rest of the department are asking for assistance on this case.
“What we’re trying [to do] is to get some more information from people that might have seen the incident happen,” said Lynn. “We’re trying to find out if somebody was there, and if they saw something. They can let us know, basically so we can get witness cooperation.”
Another incident occurred recently on March 20 at 5 p.m. A female student was unlocking the door to her dorm in Cedritos Hall when a male suspect slapped her on the behind and then fled down the hall out of sight. The suspect was described as Hispanic male around 20 years old. He’s described as 5-foot-5-inches with a medium build. At the time of the incident, he was wearing basketball shorts and a dark t-shirt, while carrying a blue backpack.
CPP students were notified of the incident via email on Wednesday, with additional guidelines to assist students if they come across similar situations.
“What we usually do in things like that, if we put out a warning or a bulletin, is we would include some safety tips for people,” said Lynn. “We’re trying to see if people saw something or if they’ve seen something on campus to call us and let us know.”
Pairing up with another person is beneficial when walking around campus and being aware of your surroundings, especially late at night.
“Use the buddy system and make sure you have somebody looking out for you and you’re looking out for them,” said Lynn. “That’s going to deter somebody, for the most part. Suspects are looking for somebody that’s not going to recognize them. They are looking for somebody that’s not really paying attention to what’s going on.”
Lynn also gave advice to those if they intend on walking alone. He said to look at people right in the eye and even say “Hello.” This will deter a suspect, because the possible victim will now see their face and be able to identify them if anything does happen.
Students should know the phone number (909) 869-3070, the direct dispatch number to University Police. Officials suggest programming it in their phone because it is faster than dialing 911, which actually goes to the Pomona Police Department.
The emergency blue towers scattered throughout campus are also directed to the University Police Department in case a victim does not have access to a cell phone.
Tori Nishino, a fifth-year accounting student, knows a way to get around campus if she does not feel safe.
“In situations like that, if you’re fearful or you’re scared to walk to your car, call campus security,” said Nishino. “I’ve called and they’re more than happy to come and pick you up, or send an escort [to drive you to] your car if it’s late at night or you don’t want to be alone.”
Nishino believes that she would report it if she was victimized at school.
“If it’s a complete stranger, [then I would],” said Nishino. “I understand if it’s just a joke when people are your friends. It all depends in what context it’s in. If it’s a complete stranger, and I genuinely feel like I’m being harassed and I’m uncomfortable in that situation, then I would report it, and I think somebody else should too.”
Fourth-year marketing student Marissa Benjamin believes that any woman who experiences some type of assault on campus should report it.
“The only good thing, I can say, that came from this is that it’s actually being noticed,” said Benjamin. “Most girls, if they got slapped on the butt like that, wouldn’t report it. The fact that she reported it shows other girls that it’s okay for them to bring it up with somebody else. It’s not something that I should be ashamed of or embarrassed about.”
Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
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