sexualassult-september172018

Otterbein Students walk through campus on their way to class. 

By Shaukeria Reese


The Otterbein Police Department contacted the male driver reported to have been following female students on campus.

After receiving multiple incident reports, Banaszak sent an email to the university on Sept. 10 saying O.P.D. was able to identify the man, and he was "advised to stop bothering our students." 

No charges were brought upon the driver. He also had no previous charges.

On Aug. 28, a female student called the Otterbein Police Department (O.P.D.) to report a Hispanic male in a white Dodge Charger with a black strip down the side following her. The student said the man began to catcall her as he drove next to her. 

On Sept. 6, another female student contacted O.P.D. to report she was followed by a white sports car and described the driver as having dark skin, possibly Hispanic. 

Later that day, Chief of Police Larry Banaszak sent an email to the university alerting students of the incidents. He asked students to contact O.P.D. with any more information.

Kate Timmers, a sophomore studio art major, contacted O.P.D. after reading the email.

On Aug. 28, Timmers said she was walking past Dunlap King hall to the Alum Creek park when she noticed a car pull up behind her. 

“I was just walking and he said ‘hi’, and it was weird, and I was uncomfortable,” said Timmers.

Timmers said she thought the man had mistaken her for someone else, so she continued walking. When she arrived at the park, she saw the same white car pull in. The man got out of his car. At this point, Timmers said she ran away and went to Towers hall. 

The driver denied the allegations when asked to comment. 

The man, an Uber driver, said he was in the area looking for fares. During this time, he rolled down his windows and began to whistle to music. The man said it was a misunderstanding, and that he was not catcalling. 

He added that he would not be returning to the Otterbein area.