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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Community concerned for safety

Tony+Webster%2FCC+BY-SA2.0
Photo by Tony Webster/CC BY-SA 2.0

Tony Webster/CC BY-SA2.0

Editor’s note: As of Nov. 10, University Police has confirmed the two individuals in Hobby Hall were official university maintenance workers. No other details are available at this time. 

Texas A&M’s campus safety has been called into question by students and community members following several safety threats that have taken place in the past week. 

According to a post spread on social media, a 20-year-old woman allegedly approached the Gamma Phi Beta sorority house late Monday night claiming she had lost her 19-year-old brother while playing hide-and-seek. The girl requested to use the house’s phone but was denied by members of the sorority. After being denied the use of a phone, the individual allegedly walked across the street and met up with three men. Law enforcement was called to the scene quickly after. 

According to Hobby Hall residents, late Monday night two men entered the building claiming to be maintenance workers. After resident advisors confirmed the two men were not official university maintenance workers, local law enforcement was called to the scene. No additional details have been provided at this time. 

The city of Bryan Police Department is currently investigating two separate sexual assault cases that occurred on Nov. 5 and 6. The assaults took place near Southwest Bryan between Wellborn and Texas Avenue, according to Bryan Police. 

The suspect has been described as a Black male between 5-foot-6 and 6-foot with a medium-athletic build. Currently, no arrests have been made. 

Police have increased patrols in the area, but community members are encouraged to remain inside and secure their homes until a suspect is arrested. 

A&M students are encouraged to take advantage of on-campus safety resources such as Corps of Cadets Escorts, the Friend Walk feature in the Code Maroon App and Blue Light phones to contact first responders. 

In a Nov. 8 press release, the University Police Department said they have received several calls and messages from the campus community and concerned parents about the two sexual assaults that occurred in the neighboring city of Bryan over the weekend.

UPD Chief  J. Mike Johnson said there was no Code Maroon alert issued as the system is utilized for active critical emergencies such as in-progress situations that pose an imminent, life safety threat to the community. This system is not utilized for crime reporting.

Johnson said Timely Warning notifications, or Crime Alerts, are typically utilized to alert the campus to Clery crimes happening on or immediately adjacent to the campus in compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. After consultation with the Bryan Police Department, Johnson said it was determined the crimes occurred outside of the notification area. Although a Timely Warning was not required, UPD utilized official social media channels to amplify the Bryan Police Department’s alert and share important personal safety reminders.

Bryan Public Information Officer Kole Taylor encourages students to stay vigilant in their day-to-day activities. 

“Whether it be walking home from the bars, the library, whatever it may be, just being aware of your surroundings,” Taylor said. “If you get a funny feeling about something’s not right, you should probably listen to those cues because we’re instinctual creatures as humans.”

Taylor said Bryan Police will release information as quickly as possible via social media while prioritizing the integrity of the case and its victims. 

“We aren’t able to release everything that we have just due to keeping that, and with it being a sexual assault, we have to think about the victim’s safety and keeping their identities not public as well,” Taylor said. “We’re going to release things as quickly as we can because we want the community to be aware of what’s happening with this, we want them to help us. We’re going to try to provide as much information as we can.”

As the case gains more traction on social media, Taylor said the community should avoid rumors and false information. 

“There has been a lot of information floating out there that does appear to be inaccurate,” Taylor said. “I think if you’re going to share information, make sure you’re getting it from a confirmed source, not a random person.” 

Any individuals with information concerning the crime are encouraged to contact 979-361-3888. Any suspicious activity should be reported to 911 as the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. 

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