September 5, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 5  

Front Page >> News > Girl accosted near Delaware Hall, jackasses captured


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Girl accosted near Delaware Hall, jackasses captured

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Frosh Week is definitely a time to have fun, but it is important not to forget concerns about safety in the midst of the excitement. An incident that occurred at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning is a reminder of this point.

According to Const. Paul Martin, spokesperson for the London Police Department, a 19-year-old female was approached by two males near Delaware Hall when she was walking home. The ensuing conversation frightened the girl and she fled the scene when one of the men lifted his shirt to reveal what she thought was a gun, Martin explained.

"The two men were apprehended at University and Lambton Drives," said Martin. A large canister of pepper spray was found tucked in the belt of one of the men, he added.

Campus Community Police Service interim director Elgin Austen confirmed the man was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon by the LPD. He has also been charged with several other offences in the past.

"This was a couple of individuals with nothing better to do but get thrills by scaring people," Martin said. "Like any campus in Ontario, there are certain individuals who cause [this kind of problem]," he added.

Austen confirmed the two men were not Western students.

This incident highlights the fact that people need to be educated and aware of safety concerns, Martin said.

"[It also] shows the importance of being with other people," Austen said, adding it is impossible to know exactly who will be on campus and it is wise to plan to walk home in groups. "Western has one of the best foot patrol programs in Canada," he explained, adding Foot Patrol began operating last night.

Foot Patrol is a program designed to ensure the safety of students by offering pre-screened volunteers to accompany people when walking after dark.

"Unfortunately sometimes these situations happen when first-year students are walking home alone at night," said USC VP-campus issues Adrienne Kennedy. "WeĠre taking all precautions in terms of safety," she said, adding safety starts with the individual.

In addition to using foot patrol services, Kennedy said it is a good idea to walk home in groups, adding common sense precautions are often enough to prevent incidents like this one.

"The reality of it is that we have a very safe campus," Kennedy said. "Sophs are doing a phenomenal job working to ensure that everyone is safe during O-Week."



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