By Amy Rudolph
Elm Staff Writer
On April 13, Director of Public Safety Gerald Roderick sent out an alert about a suspicious person offering students rides back to campus. According to the email, the first incident took place near Kent Plaza, and the other along Route 291. The student from the first incident reported they were approached twice by the same person. No threats were made in either incident.
In both cases, students said that they were pursued by, “a thin, African-American male between 30 and 50,” but Public Safety is not sure that they are were approached by the same man.
In the first incident, which occurred on April 12, a student was jogging and was approached by a driver in a dark brown sedan outside of Kent Plaza. The student later reported being approached by the same individual at a later time, according to the email.
Roderick said, “That [incident] seems a little bit more suspicious because the person was making a deliberate effort to follow her.”
The second incident involved a red sedan, and a driver who fit a similar description. As the cars described were different, Public Safety has no reason to believe that the students were approached by the same suspect. In both situations, the students who reported the suspicious activity were female. According to the email, the suspects in both incidents did not threaten the students, but were “persistent.”
While both of these incidents were suspicious, Roderick said that it is unclear if there was any malicious intent behind either, or if the students had simply been offered a ride back to campus by a good Samaritan.
“You’re in Kent County; it’s a rural community. People see people walking and will offer rides…it could very well have been a well-intentioned person doing what they thought was right and a student feeling uncomfortable by it and reporting it,” Roderick said.
As more reports are flowing into Public Safety, Roderick is uncertain if this is an event that transpires frequently but is not often reported.
“I am concerned that there is activity that goes on out there that has been going on and is just now boiling up,” Roderick said.
He said that the Department of Public Safety has been gathering the reports and sending them to the Chestertown Police Department as they come in. According to the email, Chestertown Police, “was contacted about both incidents and are investigating.” Additional reports of activity such as this have not been reported within the Chestertown community.
Although no crime has been committed, students should still remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. If any students find themselves in situations like this, Roderick said to seek safety first, but, in the process of doing so, obtain as much identifying information about the driver and the vehicle as possible. Identifying information includes the license plate number, any markings, including stickers or damage along with the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
“Chestertown is a relatively safe community, but we are not exempt from crime. Travel in numbers, don’t do it by yourself. Stay in well-lit, safe areas, don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly, don’t compromise yourself with intoxication. Develop a game plan and stick to it, don’t leave someone behind,” Roderick said.
Any students experiencing incidents like this should report them to Public Safety at 410-778-7810, through the LiveSafe app, or to the Chestertown Police Department at 410-778-1800.

The Elm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

In case you have missed it

In case you have missed it