Two police reports classified as observance without consent, or “peeping toms,” and one report of “indecent exposure” were filed within 10 hours of each other on Aug. 28 after a suspect made three different appearances to three different victims. On Aug. 30, a fourth report was filed after a different “peeping tom” incident occurred in the University Center involving a male suspect and a male victim.
The first suspect was identified as a 21-year-old male University of Memphis student. According to the reports written by officers Kelly Straub and Scott Templeton, campus police responded to two calls regarding a “peeping tom” and one call regarding “flashing.”
Derek Myers, interim chief of police, said because police were not present during the incidents, their ability to intervene was delayed. Tennessee state law requires police to obtain a warrant before they can pursue the case and detain the suspect.
“Unless it is domestic violence, all we can do is issue a warrant,” Myers said. “So the next day, we got warrants for observation without consent and indecent exposure.”
The first occurrence happened in the Art and Communication Building when a female student was using the restroom and noticed the suspect staring at her through an opening in the stall door. Later that day, the suspect allegedly exposed himself to another female student at McWherter Library. The final incedent of the day took place at Carpenter Complex after a female student noticed the suspect “peeking into windows and possibly trying to lift [them]”, according to the report.
The suspect will appear in court where he will receive disciplinary actions. The Office of Student Conduct can neither confirm nor deny that the suspect has been removed from campus since his warrant was issued.
On Aug. 30, a 21-year-old male student was using a UC restroom and saw a red iPhone emerge above him from the stall next door, according to the police report written by officer Kelly Straub. The victim said the suspect then began taking a photo or video of him sitting on the toilet, according to the report.
Myers says that this incident is unrelated to the initial three incidents.
“We have not yet identified the male suspect in the UC incident, but it is under investigation,” Myers said.
In light of the four incidents, Myers said it is important to come to police when something like this happens. He said the victims did the right thing by telling police right after each incident.
“The big message is immediacy,” Myers said. “When you have something happen, don’t wait—tell us immediately.”