Attempted Kidnapping at Merrill

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The day before classes began, a female student reported being grabbed by a stranger near the Merrill College Writing Center. The attempted kidnapping took place around 8:45 p.m. and was reported to the UC Santa Cruz Police Department (UCSC PD) around 9:55 p.m. CruzAlert — UCSC’s emergency notification system — sent a text message to the community around 1:20 a.m. to be on the lookout for individuals that matched the victim’s description of the attacker.

According to the UCSC PD’s Community Crime Bulletin, the suspect was described as “a white male in his 20s with a large build, clean shaven with dark hair that partially covered his eyes, dark clothes and possibly suffered an unknown facial injury during the incident.” The possible charges include attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Currently, information regarding the victim, current suspects and the specific location the crime took place — near the Merrill Writing Center — have not been revealed by the UCSC PD, so as not to compromise the investigation.

“This case is currently under investigation, and as such cannot be discussed beyond our release to the media and campus community,” said UCSC PD Records and Communications manager Teri Taylor.

Oweis was also able to shed some light on the almost four hour gap between the report of the attempted kidnapping and the CruzAlert notification.

“Part of [the gap] was because of the investigation and gathering all of the facts,” said UCSC Chief of Police Nader Oweis. “It took a little time to gather and confirm the information.”

Oweis said that the community will be notified as new information is released.

Correction: The print edition of City on a Hill Press did not include UCSC Chief of Police Nader Oweis’s full title. This change is reflected in the online edition of this article.