COLLEGE PARK — In only six days, a series of at least four incidents have taken place where women were either violated or targeted on or near the University of Maryland-College Park, prompting school officials and local law enforcement to raise safety concerns in the campus community.
One of the more alarming occurrences was an attempted abduction off-campus on Nov. 21.
At roughly 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 21, on the 4700 block of Harvard Road near Rhode Island Avenue, a female student was nearly abducted. Shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 22, the University of Maryland Police Department was notified of the off-campus attempted abduction.
The victim reported to the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) that she was walking in the 4700 block of Harvard Road when a male allegedly knocked her over, then attempted to pull her in the opposite direction. The victim screamed, which got the attention of two individuals who ran over to help, police said. The suspect then fled and was last seen heading toward Baltimore Avenue.
According to UMD police, the suspect is described as a white male with a skinny build – an “unhealthy thin appearance” – and approximately 30 to 35 years old. He was wearing a black hoodie, black sunglasses and carrying a black backpack.
According to a safety alert sent by university police, a video review of the cameras in the area is underway to identify a suspect.
On Nov. 22, at about 1:45 p.m., campus authorities were alerted of an indecent exposure that occurred earlier in the day around 11:15 a.m.
A female student reported to police that she was walking through the first level of the campus’s Stadium Drive Garage when she saw a male inappropriately expose himself. The victim left the area and later called the police, officials said.
The suspect is described by police as a male with a beard, wearing a black hoodie. Video footage of the cameras in the area is still underway as part of the investigation.
The UMD Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit is actively investigating the incident.
Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) arrested a man who broke into a College Park apartment and ran off after the resident found him hiding in her closet, officials said.
He has been identified as Eric Tata, 24, of Knox Road.
Shortly before 11 p.m. on Nov. 19, patrol officers were called to the 4600 block of Knox Road for the call of a burglary in progress, police said. Officers spoke to the victim, an adult female, who claimed she heard a noise in her apartment and went to see what it was. That’s when she found Tata in her bedroom closet wearing a towel.
The victim screamed and Tata ran off. The victim was not hurt, authorities said. Patrol officers immediately began to canvass the area looking for the suspect. “Through investigative means, it was learned that Tata had returned to his apartment in a neighboring building. He was taken into custody without incident,” PGPD said in a statement.
Tata was charged with fourth-degree burglary, trespassing and trespassing/peeping tom, according to police. And when he was brought before the county commissioner, he was released on a $2,500 unsecured personal bond.
Also, PGPD detectives would like to speak with anyone who may have had a similar experience with Tata.
Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to call 301-699-2601.
Lastly, on Nov. 17 at about 12:22 p.m., university police said they were notified of an off-campus burglary that happened around 6:45 a.m. on the 4200 block of Knox Road in College Park.
A female student woke up from a noise she heard and saw a male at the end of her bed. The suspect then ran out of the room. Police have yet to identify a suspect in this case.
Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, public information officer with UMD police, regularly sends advisories and alerts to the campus community to ensure the safety of students and local residents.
Individuals with any information regarding any of the abovementioned incidents or the possible identities of any of the suspects are encouraged to contact the PGPD at 301-352-1200. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477). Police also welcomes members of the community to submit tips to email@example.com.
PGPD arrests PGCPS high school teacher for sexual abuse of a minor
A teacher at Bowie High School is facing charges in connection with the sexual abuse of a female student.
The teacher, 29-year-old K. Sean Donovan Jr., of the 3200 block of Winterbourne Drive in Upper Marlboro, is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, and other related charges, police said.
On Dec. 1, PGPD launched an investigation after the student told a family member that she and Donovan were having a relationship.
“The investigation revealed that Donovan and the student were engaged in sexual contact on school grounds multiple times since May. The most recent incident took place in late November,” officials said in a release.
Currently, this is the only reported case involving Donovan, authorities confirmed.
Any questions about his employment status should be directed to the Prince George’s County Public Schools, police said.
Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is urged to call PGPD’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Unit at (301) 772-4930.
Man dies after fatal shooting near Accokeek
A man was fatally shot Nov. 30 in an unincorporated area of southern county police said.
According to authorities, police responded to a report of a shooting on the 1600 block of Braemar Court near Accokeek at approximately 8:50 p.m. and found a man inside a residence suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body.
He later died at a hospital, police said.
“Detectives are working to establish circumstances leading up to his death,” PGPD said.
County woman dead after fatal car accident
The PGPD’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit are investigating a fatal collision that occurred in Seat Pleasant. The victim, 29-year-old Dominique Millard of District Heights, died of her injuries.
On Nov. 28, around 11:55 p.m., officers were called to the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway and Glen Willow Drive for a collision involving two vehicles.
The preliminary investigation revealed Millard was a passenger in a vehicle traveling westbound on Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway approaching Glen Willow Drive. An SUV traveling southbound on Glen Willow Drive attempted to make a right turn onto westbound Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway, according to PGPD, and collided with the vehicle the victim was in at the time.
The crash caused the victim’s vehicle to overturn, and Millard was critically injured and pronounced dead at a hospital, police added.
The two drivers and another passenger in the victim’s vehicle were taken to the hospital and reportedly suffered what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422.
Dead fetus found in bathroom restaurant, case under investigation
PGPD is investigating after a dead fetus was found in the women’s bathroom of an Upper Marlboro restaurant.
The fetus was found on the morning of Nov. 27. Police did not originally identify the restaurant, but subsequent reports later revealed that the incident happened at Ruby Tuesday on Lottsford Court.
Also, according to recent reports, PGPD Media Relations Deputy Director Christina Cotterman said the fetus was sent to Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Investigators were conducting interviews and reviewing camera footage to try to determine what happened, she said.
“We are working to identify the mother to ensure she is well. We are concerned she may require medical attention. Anyone who may have info is asked to call 301-516-2512,” PGPD said in a Nov. 27 Twitter post.