UTPD sends statement addressing reports of harassment and assaults near campus

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

The UT Police Department issued a statement through the Campus Watch Wednesday morning addressing the influx of reports on social media of non-UT affiliated individuals harassing or assaulting UT students near campus.

Police provided a more detailed description of a man who exposed himself to a student in the West Campus area, describing him as a 6-foot-4-inch black male with an athletic build and short dreadlocks. In the report, UTPD emphasized calling 911 if encountering this man or anyone engaging in similar acts instead of solely posting the incident online.

“Many of these reports were received second-hand or shared via social media,” the statement said. “When offenses are reported this way it becomes very difficult to identify and apprehend these aggressors.”

UTPD officer Robert Land said he strongly encourages victims to report any incidents that occur directly to police to be able to more quickly apprehend the man described in the report, in addition to other perpetrators behaving in a similar manner.

“When there’s not consistent information … it’s this general fear instead of, ‘Okay, this is the person that’s coming to my neighborhood causing problems,’” Land said.

UTPD and the Austin Police Department are working together on this case. Incidents involving the aforementioned perpetrator have only taken place off-campus.