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Man indicted in campus kidnapping attempts being held on $770K bond

Courtesy of OSU Police

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David Phillip Morris, the man charged in connection with the Aug. 3 abduction attempts at knifepoint near campus, will be held on bonds totaling $770,000 after being arraigned Wednesday.

As of Thursday afternoon, Morris remains held in the Franklin County Jail, where he will remain until he meets his bond, said Christy McCreary, spokeswoman for Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien. A trial date has not yet been set.

Morris, 45, of Columbus, was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on Aug. 12 on four felony counts, including counts of kidnapping with sexual motivation and attempted kidnapping, both of which carry repeat offender specifications. He was also charged on counts of abduction and aggravated robbery.

The Ohio State Department of Public Safety first issued a Buckeye Alert to notify recipients that police were looking for a man with a knife at Cannon Drive and King Avenue at 3:47 p.m. on Aug. 3, said Bob Armstrong, director of Emergency Management & Fire Prevention at OSU. A second alert was issued later that day at 5:31 p.m. stating that additional information on the situation was posted online at emergency.osu.edu.

The alerts were sent out to 49,438 people via text message and phone calls, Armstrong said.

Police responded to two separate reports on Aug. 3 of a man attempting to abduct single females. 

Police received a call from a 20-year-old female student who said a man grabbed her around the waist and put a knife to her side near Medical Center Drive and Cannon Drive, Richard Morman, deputy police chief for the OSU Police, told The Lantern on Aug. 3. The man told her, “You’re going with me,” but she escaped and dialed 911. He then ran away toward Cannon Drive.

The man ran toward a fenced-in parking lot housing construction equipment on Cannon Drive between Medical Center Drive and King Avenue, Morman said. There, he ran up to a 46-year-old woman entering her car, grabbed her by the sweater and demanded that she take him with her. She ran away.

No injuries were reported.

Morris was apprehended at 7 p.m. that day under the King Avenue bridge.

Columbus and OSU Police were searching near a homeless camp under the bridge by the Olentangy River when a man who fit the suspect’s description jumped into the river and attempted to swim away.

Morris was apprehended by Columbus Police for inducing panic and swimming and wading in a river. He was held in the Franklin County Jail where he refused to be interviewed before being charged.

Police charged Morris, who went by the alias Phillip D. Hall, Jr., after showing a photo line-up to the victims and witnesses, Morman said.

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