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Indecent Exposures Increase On Campus

Dallas Steffen | Staff Writer | 02/09/2011

Within the last three months, three reports of indecent exposure on the BSU campus have been reported and investigated by the Dept. of Public Safety and the Bemidji Police Dept.

The first incident occurred outside the A.C. Clark Library on November 29, when some students witnessed a man exposing himself near a computer. The man was escorted from the building by Public Safety and Bemidji Police officers.

Two months later, on February 1, another man was seen exposing himself in front of library patrons at 9:30 p.m. The individual was not identified, but was described in the Public Safety report as “5’5″ tall, thin built, clean shaven, Caucasian male, between the ages of 18-20 years old” and wearing “a black and yellow jacket, carrying a black backpack and wearing a stocking hat.”

The third incident occurred on the morning of February 6. The Dept. of Public Safety reported that a male has exposed himself in front of a female inside a woman’s bathroom in Oak Hall. The last man was later identified and interviewed by the Bemidji Police Dept. All three incidents are still currently under investigation by the Dept. of Public Safety and the Bemidji Police Dept.

Joesph Kleszyk, the assistant director of Public Safety, shared information on the incident that occurred on February 6.

“At 8:15 [a.m.], we responded to the call at Oak,” said Kleszyk. “The individual ran from Oak [Hall], and at the time he was captured by surveillance cameras and identified. At 12:47 [p.m.], the individual was seen at Tamarack Hall.  The individual was stopped by a Public Safety officer and gave the officer a false name.  The story he was giving to the officer was not adding up.  Police were notified, and he was taken into questioning.”

When asked if on-campus indecent exposures were increasing, Kleszyk said, “I don’t see it as a growing trend.”

Charges are pending on the suspect involved on the February 1incident.

“The individual involved is a non-student,” said Kleszyk. When asked if the two incidents were connected, Kleszyk responded, “I’m not at liberty to make a prediction.”

The last time an indecent exposure was reported on the BSU campus was in 2007.

“Indecent exposures are very rare,” said Kleszyk. “There is no special category in the Annual Public Safety Report for incidents such as these.”

If a student encounters a case of indecent exposure, he said that acting quickly was the best thing to do.

“Call Public Safety immediately,” said Kleszyk. “Time can be of the essence.  The faster we are notified, the faster we can find and question the suspects involved.”  He later added, “All suspicious activity should be notified to a Public Safety office, or the witness should call 911 if he or she feels at risk.”

The members of the library staff were at a loss for words when asked about the exposures that took place on library grounds. Lucas Pipenhagen, a student worker at the circulation desk, shrugged and said,

“I don’t really know what to think about it,” shrugged Lucas Pipenhagen, a student worker at the circulation desk.

Stu Rosselet, a faculty member of 28 years who works at the reference desk in the A.C. Clark Library, was also quiet about the event that took place that night. When asked if the two cases on exposure this month were related, Rosselet said, “I have no clue.”

Rosselet added, “The only thought really running through my mind was my appreciation toward campus security who jumped on the calls.”