March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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NEWS

Nude man chased across campus, into Old Man Thames

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff


Dave Picard/Gazette
WE’RE GOIN’ STREAKING! BRING YOUR GREEN HAT! THROUGH THE QUAD AND INTO THE GYMNASIUM! An unknown man pulled a Will Ferrell-esque streaking journey through the Health Sciences Building, the Thames River and elsewhere on campus yesterday while police and firefighters tailed him.

With warmer weather on the way, many are experiencing a little spring fever, such as dogs, cats and crazy naked men who romp about campus with little more than a T-shirt on.

At about 3:25 p.m. yesterday afternoon Campus Community Police Service received a call regarding a woman who confronted a man in a stairwell in the Health Sciences Building wearing nothing but a T-shirt, said CCPS spokesperson Elgin Austen.

The man, he said, was a white male in his early 20s with short, light brown hair and a large colourful tattoo on his lower right leg.

Austen said when CCPS responded, the man attempted to block a door against police officers before escaping while carrying his clothing in his arms and running across the Chemistry Building parking lot. “He had a lighter load and ran very quickly.”

“He jumped into Medway Creek and headed north but got swept down,” he added.

“Our main concern changed from indecent exposure to his safety when he was swept away,” Austen said, adding that in just a few seconds the naked suspect was washed over 100 yards downstream. “I think what happened was he made it across the creek.”

When the suspect was swept down the river, the marine unit of the London Fire Department and the London Police Department were contacted.

“We have a boat,” said fire platoon chief Wayne Norton. “We’re doing a shore search.”

Norton explained that the marine unit was searching the Thames River from the Richmond St. vehicle bridge to Gibbons Park, for the buck-naked bandit’s safety, just in case he washed up on shore.

“The guy did jump into the water; we’re confirming he just got out,” said Sgt. Tyler Cowan of the LPD, reaffirming the concern for the suspect’s safety.

Cowan also noted that he was uncertain whether the nude suspect swam in the creek or whether he just took a quick dip in Medway Creek and then got out of the freezing water right away.

“We’ve confirmed he got into a field; we were able to see bare footprints,” Austen added, explaining the suspect probably came ashore behind Westminster College, put on his clothes — which he was still carrying — and left the scene without his shoes.

He noted that the canine unit from the LPD was called. “The canine unit might still be out there; sometimes they stay out longer,” he explained, adding after several hours of searching, the LPD, the CCPS and the fire department called off the search.

 

 

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