Campus escort calls increase after sexual assault reports

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    Editor’s note: This story was revised for clarification at 11:13 p.m. Oct. 19.

    The campus escort program Froggie Five-0 has seen an increase in requests for rides after recent sexual assault reports involving students.

    A Froggie Five-O driver said he usually responds to 40 calls a night but answered between 50 and 60 Wednesday night, after a student reported Tuesday night that she was sexually assaulted while walking on campus.

    TCU Police Officer Pam Christian, director of Froggie Five-O, said she couldn’t confirm those numbers.

    The spike in the number of riders is a result of recent sexual assault cases, more freshmen on campus, awareness of the need to be careful, even on campus, and the time of the year, Christian said, noting that more students use Froggie Five-O during the fall semester than in the spring semester.

    Froggie Five-0 supervisor Colby Howerton said drivers have been busy, but are limited because they only have six golf carts.

    “Tonight every golf cart we have is out,” Howerton said Thursday night.

    A female student was threatened with a knife and sexually assaulted while walking on campus Tuesday night, campus police said, declining to elaborate on where on campus the assault took place.

    The woman told police the suspect approached her from behind while she walked outdoors by the 2900 block of South University Drive, according to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    A Fort Worth Police report the Skiff accessed electronically listed the location of the offense as “protected.”

    Fort Worth Police did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

    A Housing and Residence Life staff member, who asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak about the matter, said she was told by another staff member who had been briefed about the incident that the assault took place in front of Sadler Hall.

    Police described the suspect as a tall white man in his early 20s with straight blond hair and moles on the right side of his face.

    The sexual assault is the third involving a student reported this semester. Campus police described the first two assaults as acquaintance rapes.

    The recent sexual assault reports may just be a result of new students understanding the importance of reporting sexual assault, Christian said. Freshmen take an online sexual assault course, attend a sexual awareness presentation and talk about it at orientation, during the Connections program and in their residence halls.

    Kirsty Glanvill, a freshman pre-business major, said she walked alone to her dorm Wednesday night.

    “I had my guard up and was really aware because of the e-mails we have been getting,” she said.

    Glanvill said she usually feels safe when walking alone at night but remains aware of her surroundings. She uses Froggie Five-0 when going far distances around campus.

    Campus police are taking measures to make students feel comfortable at night, Christian said. Police have increased the hours of patrol officers and made them more visible on campus, she said.

    Residence hall directors held meetings with their residents this week to tell them to avoid walking alone and to use the “blue light” telephones on campus in case of an emergency. Women were encouraged to use Froggie Five-O and were reminded about the Rape Aggression Defense classes facilitated by campus police.

    In addition, hall directors cautioned students against letting strangers into their buildings and propping doors open.

    Campus Resources

    Assault Prevention Theater, 6:30 p.m. Monday in the BLUU Ballroom

    Rape Aggression Defense
    (RAD) class, Oct. 24-25

    “Blue light” emergency phones throughout campus immediately connect with TCU dispatcher

    Froggie Five-0 provides student security escorts after 8 p.m.

    Campus Life is available to talk to both students and parents

    Managing editor Julieta Chiquillo contributed to this report.