Missoula Area News

Sep 5, 2013 11:51 AM by Jacqueline Quynh, Brin Merkley - MTN News

Inappropriate incidents investigated in Missoula

MISSOULA - Local police are looking for several perverts, including one on the University of Montana campus.

There have been two reports involving different UM female students. The incidents happened on the Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, with both being reported to school officials on Tuesday night.

Officials sent text and email alerts to students on Wednesday, with campus police telling us that in each case a man befriended a woman at the University Center and offered to help them with homework in their dorm rooms on campus.

The man was allowed into the students' room in both cases, where he is said to have inappropriately touched them.

UM Police Captain Ben Gladwin says they are trying to identify a suspect. Meanwhile, the alert drew mixed reactions from students.

"It is a really big campus, and it's open to everybody, so I can see something like that happening, but the university has obviously done a really good job of recognizing that and taking care of the situation," student Kate Mayfield said.

"Well there was this one - you know really creepy guy - who was chasing us around, and I'm not sure if it was the same guy who was doing this stuff on the alert. He looked like a student. He was our age, maybe 18 or 19," student Catherine Bowen recalled.

Police are reminding students to use the buddy system, or call for campus escort if they feel uncomfortable walking back to their dorms.

The Missoula Police Department is also looking for a man who allegedly fondled himself in front of several women. Police received similar reports from different women at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

The first call came in from the 4500 block of North Reserve Street where two women reported a man standing outside their hotel room window touching himself.

Authorities say that about an hour later, they received a call from two other women who reported the same thing happened as they were walking across the Higgins Street Bridge - when the man yelled from below to get their attention.

"It doesn't happen very often. Every once in a while we get reports like this, but the fact that we got two reports within approximately an hour - so similar. We'd sure like to identify this person," Missoula Detective Sergeant Scott Pastian said.

The suspect in each case was described as being a white man, who was wearing a black T-shirt and black shoes, but he was not wearing pants. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Missoula Police Department at (406) 552.6300.

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