Public Safety informs students of caller claiming to be University member

Harry Hobart, Contributing Writer

Public Safety was informed about two incidents in which a man claiming to be a University student contacted two students on campus on Oct. 29. University Public Safety sent an email containing information regarding the incidents to the student body on Oct. 31. Two students reported to Public Safety that a man contacted them via cell phone claiming he had met the students before and that he was a current student at the University, despite the fact that neither of the students had previous contact with him. In response to his request, the students both agreed to meet with him. Both of these meetings took place in a public setting: one was at a student’s workplace and the other occurred at a student’s residence hall. While the man did not harm either of the students, his contact with these students was suspicious and led to a larger report published by Public Safety to the University community.

According to the Public Safety report, “During both of those in-person meetings, the male persistently made statements regarding the Bible, and he was aggressive in tone before eventually leaving. Neither of the students reported being physically threatened, nor did they report any acts of physical aggression or violence.”

The man contacted the University students from a 917 area code. He ultimately informed the students that he is not enrolled at the University, and the University has no record of the number in question.

‘To our knowledge, no other members of our campus community were contacted by this individual, nor are we aware of any other similar incidents,” Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar said. With this incident, Barilar urges anyone on campus who has had a similar experience to contact Public Safety. When asked about suspect in question, Barilar said, “while we have not identified this individual, we have reason to believe he’s no longer in the Lewisburg area.”

Concerning possibly meeting new individuals, Barilar said,“if you do choose to meet with a stranger, do so in a public place and with a friend or group of friends.”

If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, Barilar urges students to call Public Safety. Moreover, anyone with information regarding this specific instance or similar incidents is urged to call public safety at (570) 577-3333.

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