On January 25th, campus security responded to a call from the front desk of the MAC building about a man outside on the steps who was verbally harassing women. In a freak coincidence of timing, another man believed to have multiple reports of public exposure and masturbation had walked out from between the MAC building and Student Leadership. According to those watching from inside the MAC, security officers tackled one of these men to the ground while the man from the initial complaint decided that discretion was the better part of valor and took off.
Among those watching was Eric Davis, who made the initial call to security, and he thought that security had made a leap of judgement based on racial profiling, as the man they grabbed was African-American, but the man he’d called to complain about was white. Making a leap of his own over the counter, Davis dashed out the door to tell the officers that they had the wrong guy. Little did he know that this particular individual was being detained for exposing himself to, among others, Davis’ colleague at the MAC front desk, Amy Bonet. Bonet’s complaint came just earlier that week and he had other multiple reports of indecency against him from several female staff and students. Security had still photos captured from security footage in their office and great hopes of getting their hands on him, and they wasted no time once they believed the opportunity presented itself.
Campus security officers Joel Workinger, Tim Choi, and Shiro Vance brought the by-then-handcuffed man to the security office to await the arrival of Seattle police officers. They also contacted some of the staff members and students who had made reports to confirm that this was the offender in question. With a positive suspect confirmation, he was passed into the custody of SPD just before 1pm. Head of security Sean Chesterfield said that his officers had followed policy and procedure the entire time, and that the campus would also be filing a criminal trespass admonishment, which would ban the individual in question from being on campus in the future with more serious legal consequences should he violate it.
Later, Amy Bonet described the incident which caused her to file her report with security. Bonet had been on the 4th floor of the BE building around 7pm, in a quiet study area toward the Performance Hall, talking on her phone alone. A man had entered the space and sat down nearby, but she didn’t register his presence much until she looked over and realized that he had exposed his genitals and was touching them while staring at her. Bonet realized how alone and secluded she actually was, and quickly but calmly moved away from the area and toward her classroom. According to Bonet, the man followed, staring at her the entire time, and continued to make eye contact with her through the window after she was back in the classroom. Recalling the moment, Bonet said it was “scary to think about” how vulnerable she had been in that moment, in an environment that should be safe. “He didn’t care… he didn’t even look upset,” she said, when he was taken by security. “Like there was a disconnect.”
The Seattle Police Department will be conducting their own report with witness interviews which will then be passed along to prosecutors. The man has been free on a $5,000 bail since January 28th.
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