Student contacts police after suspecting a stalker

Police advised her to use the escort service for safety and so they can get a description.

by Elizabeth Cook

A University student contacted University police Friday because she thought she was being stalked.

According to the police report, the incidents began toward the start of last semester.

In the past, the student, whose name was withheld for security reasons, has seen the man inside and outside Centennial Hall. She also said she has seen him on Harvard Street Southeast and on the south side of Washington Avenue Southeast.

She told police that during fall semester, she saw him almost every day, and during this semester, one to three times a week.

According to the report, she said, “Every time I see him, he stares right into my eyes until we get past each other.”

She said she believes the suspect knows her daily routine.

Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University, said the woman was smart to contact police before any physical harm had been done to her.

Police advised her to use the escort service, and by doing that police might be able to see the suspect and ask him about his behavior.

Ben Schnabel, the University’s Security Monitor Program manager, said the escort service works with the police on a somewhat regular basis.

He said part of an escort’s job is getting description information.

All the escorts are equipped with a radio, which connects them to police dispatch.

Schnabel said no one has been attacked when an escort was walking with them.

Elizabeth Borer, legal advocacy co-coordinator for the Aurora Center, said it is common for victims of stalking to not call police right away, because at first the behavior doesn’t seem threatening.

Some victims will not call until the stalking starts to interfere with their normal lifestyle, she said.

The Aurora Center works with stalking and harassing issues and offers legal advocacy for restraining orders, Borer said.

According to Aurora Center statistics, last year there were 40 contacts made with the center in relation to stalking and harassing.

One robbery

There has been one personal robbery in the University area in the past week.

Jim Long, the crime prevention specialist for Minneapolis Police Department’s 2nd Precinct, said the robbery occurred about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

It happened in the 800 block of 12th Avenue Southeast.

A University student was robbed at gunpoint for money, but was not injured, Long said.

No arrests have been made, Long said.

Car theft

Police responded to a motor vehicle theft at the patient and visitor parking ramp on Delaware Street Southeast.

Minasie Haile, 23, said he parked his car and went to work as a valet for University Medical Center, Fairview.

Haile said he locked his car, but when he came back for it, it was gone.

Johnson said it’s unusual for vehicles to be stolen out of the parking ramps.

According to the report, officers spoke with the ramp attendant, who said no tow trucks had come into the ramp.

As of Wednesday, Haile said his car still hasn’t been found.

There is no suspect information and it is an active case.