An unidentified intruder committed a lewd act in the Stearns Hall parking lot at 4:40 p.m. Aug. 23, according to an email safety bulletin sent by Campus Safety to the Occidental community Aug. 30. Campus Safety suspects the individual is the same suspect who engaged in lewd activities in the Pauley, Braun and Newcomb residence halls Feb. 10.
The witness, a member of the Occidental community, confirmed the suspect’s similarity to the suspect in February, according to Interim Chief of Campus Safety Joseph Novak. Witnesses in February described the suspect as a Caucasian or Hispanic male, estimated to be in his 30s, between 5’6 and 5’11 with facial acne and arm tattoos. Novak confirmed via email that Campus Safety is now aware of a vehicle description — a gray Jeep — that may be associated with the suspect.
According to Novak, the report was sent out a week after the incident occurred because it took several days for the witness to view the Crime Stopper sketch of the suspect. Novak clarified via email that Campus Safety does not send out a Safety Bulletin for every lewd act reported. This bulletin was only sent because of the suspect’s likely connection to the February incidents, according to Novak.
According to the bulletin, all Campus Safety patrol officers possess the Crime Stopper sketch of the suspect created in February and will be on alert for future sightings. Novak confirmed that Campus Safety is actively looking for the suspect.
Novak urged students to contact a Campus Safety officer if they see the suspect or possess additional information. The safety bulletin contained a reminder to not leave doors open or let strangers into college buildings.
Campus Safety also contacted the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Northeast Division concerning the incident. According to Novak, Campus Safety reached out to LAPD because they have faster access to a larger database of information regarding local crimes. LAPD took Campus Safety’s report and is conducting a separate investigation. While Campus Safety is not a sworn police department, Novak said that Campus Safety should still be students’ first point of contact.
“LAPD is not on campus, we are,” Novak said. “We are the eyes and ears for our community.”
Campus Safety can be reached at their non-emergency line (323-259-2599) or at their emergency line (323-259-2511).