Woman flees bus, fearing follower; police alerted

Running late for her 9:05 a.m. class Thursday, a University biology student opted to take a Campus Connector to the West Bank instead of making her usual 1,250-foot hike across the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Ayesha Siddiq, 25, said she was approached and harassed by a man asking if she could do him a favor at the campus bus stop on the Northrop side of Washington Avenue.
“He said, ‘Can you help me out?, I need a favor, it will only take 10 minutes,'” Siddiq said. “He never told me what the favor was.”
The man was persistent when she said no and he kept moving near her, she said.
What Siddiq didn’t know was that there is a code blue emergency phone only a few feet from where she was standing. She said University Police told her about it when she filed the report.
“He came so close that I told him if he came any closer I was going to yell for police,” Siddiq said.
But before she could yell, the bus arrived. She boarded and the man followed.
Siddiq said she told the bus driver she didn’t think the man was a student, but the driver didn’t do anything.
Bob James, transit supervisor at Ryder-Medicine Lake, the company which runs campus buses, said drivers are prepared to deal with such situations.
“If someone asks for assistance, each bus is equipped with a two-way radio and the driver can call the base and we will call the police,” James said.
Siddiq said she might not have been clear when talking to the driver.
When the bus reached the Willey Hall stop on the West Bank, Siddiq said she waited to see if the man was going to get off. When he didn’t, she bolted into Willey. She later informed police of the incident.
Police have no suspects.
In other Police news:
ù A thief in Centennial Hall jarred a University student awake April 15, and then made off with his wallet.
College of Liberal Arts student Eric Eklund, 20, was sleeping when he heard a knock at his door. After he decided not to answer it, the next thing he saw was a man sneak through his unlocked door.
“I was in my loft, and I don’t think he knew I was in the room,” Eklund said.
The thief swiftly swiped the wallet off Eklund’s desk and slinked out of the room, he said.
Eklund said he jumped out of his loft clad only in pajamas to chase the thief. When he got to the hallway he said he not only saw the thief but also an accomplice. He chased them down the hallway but they lost him in a stairwell.
University Police are investigating, but have no suspects.

ù Two underage drinkers led a University Police officer on a foot race across campus Friday night after the students were spotted with cans of beer.
According to police reports, officers Erik Stenemann and David Wilske happened to be following a group of people walking near the Radisson Metrodome when they saw one of them kick over a garbage can.
The officers stopped the group. But University student Eric Nelson, 19, kept walking with a can of beer. Stenemann took the beer from him, told him to sit down and asked for identification.
But Nelson told police he would have to get up to get his ID from his back pocket. According to the report, he got up and started running, something his friend, Lars Wasvick, 19, did as well.
Nelson said Tuesday he doesn’t remember when he started to run.
Stenemann said he chased the two as they tossed cans of beer aside and ran down University Avenue toward the YMCA. They turned into an alley behind the building only to find a dead end.
They continued to throw cans of beer over a fence at the end of the alley before they were arrested.
“I’m not making excuses, I did run,” Nelson said. “I just didn’t want my parents to find out.”
The two told officers they ran because they were scared and nervous, Stenemann said.
Nelson and Wasvick were charged with possession of liquor by a minor, minor consumption and littering. Officials said they will probably be charged with impeding legal process as well. Wasvick could not be reached for comment.

ù University Police arrested a student for trespassing and stalking after she was caught following a University professor on the St. Paul campus.
She has not yet been formally charged. Neither the victim nor the suspect were identified due to the nature of the case.
University Police Sgt. Joe May said she has been charged with stalking and trespassing in the past. Reports said she often called and came to the professor’s house unannounced.