Parking Garage

EDITORIAL — On Oct. 15 at 3 p.m., I encountered a man who insisted on using me as material to pleasure himself, and the incident report given to The Vermilion explained almost none of what had happened to me. 

I had parked in the Taft Parking Garage on campus after driving back from Baton Rouge when I saw a man walking around. I paid him little mind because he was not doing much of anything. 

A few minutes later, he called me over to him, and by this point, he was standing between a white car and a beige truck. He asked me my age and if I went to the university. I answered him, though I was wary by this point. I am 19, and he told me I was too young.

I walked away before he called me back again. He insisted, at this point, that I come towards him and that I had no reason to be afraid. I assumed that the worst he would do would be to offer me alcohol or drugs because I didn’t know what else I would be too young for. 

He, however, escalates the situation in an obscene manor. 

Acting a bit squirrely, he asked if he can stroke himself to me. Before I could say anything else, he already has his penis out and is doing what he had just asked.

I yelled “no” and that I had a boyfriend as I scrambled away from him. I was appalled and said an obscenity in his direction as I ran towards the stairs. 

On Oct. 17 at around 5 p.m., I went to the police station and reported all of the above, plus a physical description. He was a college-aged African American man who looked to be about 5 feet, 7 inches and had short hair, a black t-shirt with some sort of yellow coloring and grey or black pants.

This is what the police reported to The Vermilion: 

“Officers spoke with students about suspicious person in Taft Parking Garage. A report of the incident was generated.”

The report is missing a lot of information that could be used to protect other women on campus.

I spoke to Lt. Billy Abrams on the matter and he reported that more information would hurt the integrity of the investigation. 

“You know, we can't give out a full statement report because of the information that it has,” he said. “Also, if an incident is under investigation, and of course, that will compromise the integrity of the investigation, if the report is given out to whoever asked for including the victim.”

However, he also said it would be possible to ask for more information, and that writing this editorial was perfectly fine.

“It’s your statement, and it’s your experience,” Abrams said. “It's like if you have a victim of a particular incident, there's nothing to stop them from talking about their experience.”

He later spoke about how I would be able to use this as a learning experience, and would be able to teach others about my experience.

“You can’t blame yourself. You have to look at the incident as a learning experience,” Abrams said. “And, you know, you want other people to be able to do and behave a certain way, if they are put in that situation.”

I would like to add as a final note that it is okay if you do not use any bad experience of yours to teach others or learn from it yourself. It is also okay if you did not have the reaction that you had hoped you would have. You are not any less of a person. I promise.

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