An unknown man is offering rides in his car to people on campus, according to two students who said they were left feeling nervous after the encounter.
Brittany Labrincha and Isabel O’Brien said that they were approached by who they described as a college-aged white male with dark hair driving a gray car. Labrincha described the car as a small Nissan, but O’Brien, who couldn’t recall the exact make of the car, described it as midsized.
Though Labrincha and O’Brien, both senior psychology majors, experienced similar incidents, they happened on different nights while the women were alone.
Labrincha said she was approached on Feb. 25 and O’Brien said she was approached on Feb. 13. Both said the incidents occurred late at night by the Ward Place Gate.
O’Brien said on the night of the incident she was walking home from the Walsh Library alone and was passing the security booth by the Ward Place Gate when a car drove past her, despite the gate having been closed for hours.
She said the car then entered the Public Safety parking lot and stopped moving until she had
walked closer to the gate.
“Then the car pulled out and drove the opposite direction of the gate and stopped next to me and rolled down his window to ask me if I wanted a ride,” O’Brien wrote in an email “I kept walking and declined the offer, but he asked me two or three times if I was sure and I just kept walking and saying that I didn’t want a ride.”
She added that he waited a few moments after she had declined his offer and then finally drove away.
Labrincha’s shared a similar story to O’Brien’s.
Labrincha said she was approched while coming onto campus from the Ward Gate. Even though she declined his offer, the man was still persistent.
“I initially reacted fine, I wasn’t sure what he wanted and I usually feel safe on campus, so I wasn’t thinking anything of him slowing down to ask me something,” Labrincha wrote in an email. “I felt uncomfortable because I was alone and because of how persistent he was. I’ve never really felt that way on campus before.”
Neither women have yet reported the incidents to Public Safety. Sergio Oliva, the associate director of Public Safety, said the office has not received any reports regarding the unknown man on campus.
Oliva wrote in an email reminding students to, “Never accept rides from persons unknown. Report incident immediately to Public Safety with as much description of vehicle and persons. We will certainly send a unit out to search for description of vehicle.”
Ashley Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.