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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Daylight attacks shine light on student safety

Map+of+Emergency+Blue+Lights+located+on+campus.+Photo+credit%3A+University+Police
Map of Emergency Blue Lights located on campus. Photo credit: University Police

When Chico State senior Lauren Dormer was walking home from her child development class at 10:45 a.m., the last thing she expected was to be grabbed, harassed and followed home.

“I pretended to call the police and he sprinted the other way. I arrived home feeling pretty shaken up,” Dormer said. “I never expected this would happen to me, especially not in broad daylight.”

More instances like Dormer’s have been reported during daylight hours.

Anna Hatfield, 21, was grabbing something from her car when a male came up to her and tried to hug her and would not let go.

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Anna Hatfield a senior at Chico State was recently harassed by a stranger during daylight hours. Photo credit: Kaley Wise

Many of these incidents occur when people are not aware of their surroundings, according to University Police Sergeant Farrell. He said it is rare to have these incidents occur in the daytime, but it does happen.

“It is important to keep your eyes up and not be distracted by your phone,” Farrell said.

Dormer said that she was distracted on her way to her apartment the morning of the incident.

“I could see someone approaching me from the corner of my eye but I was not paying attention and that’s when he grabbed me by the shoulders,” Dormer said.

Neither student reported these instances to the Chico Police Department or the University Police.

Hatfield said she lives near West Fifth Street and that she often feels uncomfortable walking home because of the lack of street lights.

A campus-wide email regarding two different burglaries reported at residence halls was sent out by University Police late October. Both reports stated that a male entered the building while the occupant was still home, according to the email.

Farrell said that these instances are still under investigation, but it’s crucial to make sure that windows and doors are locked at all times.

“If there is a knock at the door, always check before you open. Even if it is a repair or utility person, ask for their identification and verify with your landlord,” he said.

Farrell said the community should always report suspicious activity and walk with friends or in groups and always be aware of the surroundings.

On campus, there are emergency blue light phones that immediately connect with the University Police. Students are urged to use these services to ensure safety on campus.

Kaley Wise can be reached at [email protected] or Kaley_jo_wise on Twitter.

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