Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred on the second day of the semester on NW Campus.
The assault occurred Aug. 22 between 7 and 8 a.m. in the north parking lot, according to an email sent by police districtwide.
In the email, the suspect was described as a white male, blonde with blue eyes and wearing shorts. His car was described as a small blue vehicle, possibly a van.
An open records request for more information was denied by TCC Public Information Officer Keith Whetstone because the investigation is ongoing.
Some NW students are uncomfortable with a report so early in the semester, including NW student Sydney Ellis who said they were worried.
“It’s kind of scary,” they said.
However, Ellis was comforted by the fact that police stationed their cars outside the NW05 building, which sits in front of the parking lot where the incident occurred. They also felt it was good to know the police academy was training across the way.
“That’s kind of comforting, that they might not be police yet, but they’re training,” they said.
An email notifying TCC of the report was also helpful to Ellis because of the details on the suspect’s appearance and what car he drove.
Another NW student, Quin Roads, believes it is shocking that it happened with the number of police present.
“With them being around, I wouldn’t think that would happen,” she said. “But it happens.”
Despite Ellis’ sentiment on the police presence, they feel more comfortable going to a staff or faculty member to report on incidents of sexual assault.
“Due to past situations, I’ve never really been comfortable talking to police in general,” they said.
Jonnie Hazen, NW administrative assistant of mathematics and science, said she feels absolutely safe on campus and sees the campus police every day.
“There’s a lot of security,” she said.
As a faculty member, she is required to report a sexual assault that is brought to her attention. Therefore, she always discloses to students that she must report any statement made. She has made one report in her time at TCC.
Staff members are required to take training on reporting sexual assault under Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in an educational program that receives government funding.
NW student Angel Jassl believes that though NW Campus likely has its blind spots, he feels relatively safe there.
He is, however, unsure about where to go when needing to make a report. With campus under construction, he does not know if there are directions stating a place to report at.
“I’m sure they have signs, but it’s not like you know where to go,” he said.
Ellis has classes that stretch into the evening, and they acknowledge the danger of walking alone after dark.
“I do have to call my friend whenever I’m walking because I don’t want to get snatched,” they said.
Campus resources like police are available to help with escorting by calling (817) 515-8911 and requesting an officer escort.
Blue telephone boxes are stationed around campus that students can access in case of emergencies, and anonymous reporting is available at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?TarrantCCD&layout_id=1.