A 32-year-old man was arrested by University Police last week and charged with kidnapping and aggravated robbery after he allegedly forced a female faculty member off campus. Some students are concerned that a public safety notice was not issued about the incident.
Wayne Miller was arrested Thursday near the corner of N. Grant and E. 8th avenues after he allegedly displayed a knife near Postle Hall, where the College of Dentistry is located, and forced the victim to leave campus with him, according to a University Police report.
Ohio State spokesperson Dan Hedman said in an email that the suspect, who is not affiliated with OSU, took personal items from the victim before releasing her. Hedman also said the victim was not injured and that she did not know the suspect.
Online records from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections indicated that Miller was released from the Ross Correctional Institution on April 7, where he had been imprisoned since 2007 on rape, kidnapping and intimidation charges.
Hedman also said that University Police did not issue a public safety notice for this incident because “it was determined there was not a continuing threat to safety of the campus community and no imminent threat about which to alert people.”
“In this instance, police worked quickly to respond to the victim’s report and worked with the victim to identify and apprehend the suspect,” he said.
Bridget Gladden, a third-year in zoology, said she walks near Postle Hall frequently and was unaware of the incident.
“I think it’s important to know when things are going on on-campus,” she said. “It’s a city, so you expect a certain amount of crime, but it would be nice if the administration informed us when it happens on our campus.”
Gladden said she understands that issuing a public safety notice could create unnecessary panic if there was not a continuing threat, but would like to be informed about recurring crimes.
“As long as they didn’t deem it as a threat, I can understand their rationale for not informing students because they didn’t want to cause a panic,” she said. “If it is a recurring event around this area, that would be nice to know. I’m assuming this is a one-time incident, but that could also be because I haven’t been informed of any other incidents.”
Hedman said the decision to issue public safety notices is made by University Police, which makes decisions about sending alerts based on the Clery Act.
The Clery Act was designed to make college campus crime information readily available. As part of that act, colleges and universities are required to publish an annual security report that includes certain crime statistics on campus from the past three calendar years. Those statistics include crimes such as sex offenses, burglaries, murder, robberies and motor vehicle thefts.
“OSU Police also has multiple ways to inform the university community that a crime has occurred, including on its website (daily log), through traditional media, through social media and through personal interaction, among other channels,” Hedman said. “In this instance, the daily log was appropriately updated to conform to Clery guidelines and local media assisted in publicizing the criminal incident.”
Miller was arraigned on felony charges Friday in Franklin County Municipal Court, according to Franklin County Municipal Court online court records. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Friday.