UBCO warns of man suspected of hassling women on campus

The university has released an image of the man

Update: 4 p.m. Jan. 25

“Kelowna RCMP are aware of a campus safety alert shared with students, faculty and staff of the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus in Kelowna. Although charges have not yet been laid, police have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged suspicious actions of the individual depicted in the campus’ safety bulletin,” according to the Kelowna RCMP in an emailed statement.

“Police have since located the individual believed to be the focus of the campus safety alert. He faces potential charges and has since been released, expected to appear in court in March of 2019. As a result, the public is no longer asked to contact police if the man is spotted. However, ‎the police investigation continues at this time, as RCMP ask any additional witnesses to come forward to speak with investigators.”

Original:

UBC Okanagan is asking the community to be aware of a suspicious man on campus allegedly approaching women, engaging in harassing behaviour, and making inappropriate and suggestive comments, according to a news statement issued by UBCO.

Campus security has issued a no trespass order to this individual in conjunction with the RCMP and is working closely with police on the matter, the university said in the statement, which was also sent to faculty and students Thursday afternoon.

Bud Mortenson, director of media relations with the university, said the man was allegedly making students uncomfortable and that six students had reported incidents to campus security.

The incidents would have taken place over the past couple of days, he said.

He said the RCMP and campus security know the man’s name, but the university put as much detail into the notice as deemed appropriate.

“It was important to share the photograph because of the nature of the concerns with that hassling behaviour,” Mortenson said.

This is the first time UBCO has issued a statement in this manner, but similar ones have been issued before at UBC’s Vancouver campus.

If you are approached by this man, UBCO is asking that you call 9-1-1 immediately and then contact campus security at 250-807-8111, local 7811 from any office telephone on campus or from the blue emergency security telephones.

The man is described as a Caucasian male, 28 years old, 5’11”, slim build, shoulder length sandy blond hair and a full beard. He is usually seen wearing multi-coloured toque, a blue sweater or bright green jacket.

UBCO is also offering security tips.

If you live in campus residence

Lock it up – when you leave and when you are sleeping. Each time you leave and when you are sleeping, lock your unit and room door, plus any accessible windows.

Don’t hold the door open for strangers. Please don’t let people follow you into a locked residence building. If they have permission to be there, they will have their own key – or a host.

Stop before you prop. Never prop open a building door, even if you are stepping outside for just a moment.

On campus after dark

Trust your instincts. If you feel like you’re in danger or if you witness suspicious activity, call 9-1-1, then contact Campus Security. Emergency calls to Campus Security, 250 807 8111 or local 78111, can be made from any office telephone on campus and from the blue emergency security telephones located strategically around campus.

Walk with a friend, fellow resident or classmate.

Make use of the 24-hour campus security safewalk service by calling 250-807-8076 or by visiting the campus security dispatch office in the Admin Building.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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