Students escapes attempted abduction near campus


Chris Ingham | The Seahawk

The alleged attempted abduction occurred on Heidi Drive as the female student walked toward the entrance to campus near Wood Dale Drive.

Casey McAnarney, Editor in Chief

A UNC Wilmington student walked along Heidi Drive around 9 a.m. to campus when she was grabbed by and broke free from an unknown male individual.

The female student was walking towards the Wood Dale Drive entrance to campus near Graham-Hewlett, one of the freshman dorms. Once she broke loose from the assailant, the man who was described as a darker-skinned Hispanic male in his early to mid 30s did not pursue. Further descriptions announced by Campus Police in a campus-wide email stated that he was approximately 5’8 with a mustache and wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. He drove a full-sized, dark grey two-door pickup, possibly a Chevrolet, in a newer model.

The UNCW female student was walking to campus around 9 a.m. when a man in a pick-up allegedly attempted to kidnap her.

The email sent out to students by Campus Police was sent out 6:23 p.m., over nine hours after the incident occurred. According to a message posted Friday, Nov. 17, entitled “University Response re. Alleged Abduction Attempt Near UNCW Campus” on UNCW’s website, the email was released later in the day because Campus Police were not notified of the incident until hours later.

“By the time University Police were notified of the alleged incident, hours after it was said to have occurred on Thursday morning, it was determined there was not an immediate or ongoing threat to campus safety, and therefore, according to federal regulations, a campus notification (of any type) was not required,” the post read. “However, as soon as the university was able to share the information University Police had secured via their investigation, in collaboration with WPD, a campus message was issued to make our students and employees aware of what had allegedly occurred.”

The mass email from Campus Police concluded by ensuring that they would relay information as it becomes available and asking that if anyone has information then to please call. It also included a sentence that asked students to be vigilant and to use campus resources. They then linked CARE’s website, which is an organization on campus that seeks to assist victims of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking. Their website states that “CARE is for survivors.”

The university’s released statement also described how it wanted to “assuage” concerns members of the UNCW community has over this news. It touched upon the use of alert text messages in cases of “immediate, ongoing threats” and how they would assess the necessity of using these services, stating that they do not want to overuse this resource but want to keep the campus informed in instances of emergency. The release closed with an acknowledgement of the student and how she had continued attention to her “personal safety and to that of our community as a whole.”

The Seahawk will be following this story as it unfolds. If you or someone have a comment or concern regarding this recent news, feel free to email [email protected] to discuss your feelings and opinions. The Seahawk is a platform in which students can share and express themselves and their opinions.