University of New Hampshire and Durham police are re-questioning the people involved in a late-night incident that occurred on campus Aug. 25 and was reported to police by an Uber driver in the area after claiming to see it.
UNH Police received a phone call from the driver, whose name has not been publicly disclosed, at approximately 4 a.m., who reported seeing a white male walking with what appeared to be an intoxicated female on Main Street near the Whittemore Center.
According to UNH Police Chief Paul Dean, the Uber driver became concerned for the female walking and decided to help by convincing the girl to get in the car so the diver could take the her back to her residence.
“Approximately an hour later [on route], the Uber driver stated that they saw the same male who was allegedly pulling a different female by the arm, who allegedly appeared intoxicated as well,” Dean said via email. “This time, the Uber driver intervened and pulled a knife on the male who allegedly ran off into the darkness.”
By the time the Uber driver reported these incidents to UNH Police, however, more than three hours had passed.
Both departments responded immediately; during their investigation, police from both departments failed to identify the situation that allegedly occurred at the locations provided by the Uber driver.
“While the original report alleged that the incident took place on Mill Road between the shopping plaza and Academic Way,” Dean said. “Subsequent interviews then placed the incident three blocks away on campus possibly in the area of McDaniel Drive.”
In a Facebook post, the driver’s mother warned students and their families about the situation and urged them to keep a look out for the man that was allegedly seen walking with the intoxicated girls. Per the post, the passenger said that the second intoxicated female was shaking and told her that she didn’t know what the man wanted and would not let her go.
Senior psychology major Salena Bleyl said that she isn’t surprised that something of this nature has happened on a college campus, but is glad that someone decided to say something and help.
“I am not surprised this happened because, unfortunately, date rape is the culture we live in,” she said. “I am glad someone stepped in and helped those girls, however there are so many more instances like that that go completely unnoticed and there needs to be some way to make that stop.”
Bleyl said she feels there should be more adequate education or mental health resources in the country, especially for college campuses and large cities where the risk for such incidents is higher. Justice studies graduate student Kathryn Rondeau also expressed her concern.
“I think it’s really scary that that happened on our campus,” Rondeau said. “These last 3 years I’ve felt really safe on campus all the time and have never really been worried about things like that because our campus is so relatively safe. It’s awesome that the Uber driver stood up for that girl and called the cops. It’s nice to know that people are still looking out for one another.”
Police are still conducting interviews and investigating the situation, and ask that anyone with information get in touch with UNH or Durham Police.