Students are more alert on campus this week as they are still on the lookout for a man who approached three girls on campus.
On Aug. 20 and Sept. 17, there were alerts sent out to all students at Utah Tech University informing them of assault cases that happened both on and off campus. Both alerts were sent out the day after the incidents had occurred.
Morgan Gatto, a freshman psychology major from Ogden, was one of the students who encountered a man on campus this past week who confronted her and two others.
Gatto said as she was leaving to go for a run Sept. 17, she passed the man who seemingly looked just like any other guy. She said when she looked back at him over her shoulder, he started to charge at her.
“His arms were open like he was going to grab me, but I quickly jumped to the side and got out of his way,” Gatto said. “I was just yelling ‘no’ and ‘stop’ at him. All of the adrenaline was kicking in, so it was hard for me to even talk.”
Gatto said she wasn’t sure how to take the situation because as she was running away from the man, he was laughing and saying it was a joke. She ended up calling the police when she got back to her apartment complex.
“All of [the officers] were so accommodating,” Gatto said. “They fully understood. Within five minutes, police were patrolling the area and looking at everyone that was passing by.”
When the alert was sent out, Gatto found out similar situations had happened to two other girls.
Utah Tech reports say The Utah Tech Police Department and Utah Police Department have increased the number of patrols as well as the number of officers on campus.
New information has been released on the description of the man who assaulted the women. If you or anyone you know has seen this man, report him immediately to the authorities.
Gatto said: “I want them to find him. I want to know what kind of guy this is and why he would do this and what his intentions were. I’m not really fearful of him, but I’m just curious and a little angry.”
In each of the alerts that were sent out to students, faculty and staff on campus, there was a list of ways to stay safe.
Emily Anderson, a design major from Mesquite, Nevada, said, “Honestly, at first I did [feel safe on campus], but now that the assaults have happened twice, I’ve noticed I’ve been looking over my shoulder and more alert recently, even during the day.”
Something to do in times when students are worried for their safety as well as the safety of others is to be aware of yourself and your surroundings Rebecca Edwards said in an article.
Spencer Nickel, a junior management major for Tacoma, Washington, said, “Personally, I still feel relatively safe, but the recent events do make me worry for friends of mine who often go on night walks.”
There are many different on and off-campus resources to reach out to and use if you or anyone you know gets into an unsafe situation.
In case of an emergency, the quickest response time would be to call police dispatch at 435-627-4300 or 911.