The MUW Police Department arrested a man for indecent exposure after receiving reports of someone flashing students on campus.
Laterrence Stewart, 29, is charged with giving false information to police, indecent exposure and public profanity. Witnesses identified Stewart on March 29 after reports of an individual approaching students on campus and asking for cigarettes, making lewd comments and exposing himself.
Claire Gremillion, a W student, was among those to file a report. Gremillion was leaving Painter Hall after a class when the suspect approached her.
“He followed me down the stairs,” said Gremillion. “As soon as I got out the door, he grabbed my shoulder. He said, ‘Hey, can I have a cigarette?’ because I was wearing my sweater and my cigarettes were hanging out of my pocket. […] I didn’t think much of it, but when he grabbed my shoulder and called me these pet names, I thought it was a little weird.”
Students in Painter Hall were instructed to avoid being alone in the building. Witnesses reported seeing Stewart in other buildings on campus as well.
MUWPD sent an email to students, faculty and staff on March 27 that described the suspect and asked anyone with information to contact them. The Columbus Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office provided additional support on the case.
“We assisted the W police by providing information, i.e., who the suspect was, address and previous criminal history,” said Assistant Police Chief Frederick Shelton of the Columbus Police Department.
Stewart’s arrest record included charges of drug use and public intoxication. Since Stewart’s arrest, more people have come forward to identify him in other incidents around Columbus and on campus.
As always, the W community is encouraged to report any suspicious persons or behavior to the MUW Police Department by calling (662) 241-7777.