UOPD Ride Along: Officers deal with telephone harassment, gas leak report
Seventy crimes were reported to University of Oregon Police Department from Sept. 12 to Sept. 30, including 23 theft crimes and 16 crimes regarding a minor in possession of alcohol or providing alcohol to a minor.
The Emerald went on a ride along with UOPD from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 2: Saturday night of the first week of term.
Officer Troy Phillips investigated a report of telephone harassment from a female student early in the evening.
According to Phillips, the female student, who remains anonymous, reported to UOPD that a male student had made unwanted contact with her after she blocked his phone numbers. She obtained a “No Contact” letter from the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards against the male student.
Phillips said the “No Contact” letter prevents UOPD from arresting the male student if he violates, but it will give the victim more substantial evidence if they decide to press charges and file a lawsuit.
After interviewing the female student about her experience with the alleged harasser, Phillips contacted the male student and asked for an interview. He complied with the officer’s request.
The Emerald was allowed to sit in on the interview with the male student at the UOPD station. The interview was also recorded and videotaped by UOPD.
Leading the interview, Phillips asked the male student a list of questions about what happened earlier that day. The male student admitted that he had been contacting the female student via phone calls and text messages, although she had blocked his numbers.
“I have two phones,” he said. “I just got this one today.”
The female student, it turned out, was his former girlfriend. They recently broke up, the male student said. He said the only reason he tried to contact her was because he bumped into her on his way back to his apartment. He said he tried to make peace with her, trying to resolve the bad ending of their relationship.
After hearing the male student’s side of story, Phillips informed the student that he could be charged with telephone harassment.
“Your perception is off, man,” Phillips said. “She fears you.”
Phillips also explained that it’s up to the female student whether she will press charges against the male student. She will be talking to the Dean of Students this week to review her options. Phillips advised the male student to stop contacting her through any form of communication.
“I warn you for your sake. If you see her at a house party on Ferry Street, bounce, man,” Phillips said. “The law is on her side at this point.”
Phillips also said the interview on Oct. 1 was the male student’s “last chance deal.”
“I’m not going to arrest you tonight, but I’m not afraid to do it,” the officer said.
The student was let go right after the interview.
Out in the rainy night, Officer Joshua Nascimento said that campus is “much livelier” now that school is back in session. Nascimento started with UOPD in December 2015. He moved from the Maui Police Department in Hawaii, which is triple the size of Eugene Police Department, Nascimento said.
Nascimento, Phillips and another UOPD officer responded to a report of a gas leak at Kappa Delta sorority house at around midnight. When dealing with chemicals, UOPD is mostly tasked with crowd control in assistance with the firefighter department, Nascimento said. Two firetrucks and a paramedic van were also at the scene.
Nascimento confirmed the leak was a false alarm. The call was made by staff in the house, he said.
The Emerald‘s ride along also included a visit to the UOPD Dispatch Center, or “where the magic happens,” as Nascimento described. The Dispatch Center, located on Franklin Boulevard across the UOPD station, is usually run by two personnel who monitor surveillance cameras on campus.
Their major focus is on campus bike racks – bike theft is the most common crime on campus.
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