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Man indicted on kidnapping charges for campus abduction attempts

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David Phillip Morris, 45, of Columbus, was indicted Friday on four felony counts in connection with two abduction attempts at knifepoint near campus earlier this month.

Morris was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on counts of kidnapping with sexual motivation and attempted kidnapping, both of which carry repeat offender specifications. Maximum sentences for the charges are eight and 10 years, respectively.

Morris was also indicted on counts of abduction and aggravated robbery, which are also felonies, said Christy McCreary, spokeswoman for Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

Morris will be arraigned Wednesday, McCreary said.

OSU Police did not immediately return requests for comment.

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.

The OSU Department of Public Safety issued a Buckeye Alert at approximately 4 p.m. on Aug. 3 stating that police were searching for the suspect near Cannon Drive and King Avenue.

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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