Incidents at MU are tied to stalking case at Stephens College

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | 5:50 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Court documents show that the man who has been charged in what has come to be known as the "bear hug" incident and for accosting another student in a campus parking garage was reportedly stalking a student at Stephens College. 

The Stephens College student, referred to in court documents as "C.S.," told investigators she was terrified of the stalker and what he might do to her if he found her. The college provided her with extra security.

Timothy Anderson was arrested last month in connection with two separate incidents on the MU campus. The first took place Oct. 24 on the sidewalk at Ninth Street west of Ellis Library where a female student reported being grabbed from behind and held in what she described as a "bear hug" by a man who then released her and ran away. 

The second incident took place the next day at the Hitt Street parking garage, where a woman reported being followed and harassed by a man who asked if they knew each other. The woman told the police that the person had a strong resemblance to the man in a composite sketch produced after the first incident, according to the probable cause statement from the MU police.

In addition to the charge of stalking related to Anderson's contact with C.S., he has also been charged with third-degree assault in connection with the incident that occurred near Ellis Library and harassment for the encounter at the Hitt Street garage.

According to probable cause statements filed in the 13th Circuit Court of Boone County, Anderson was approaching female students on both the MU and Stephens College campuses, appearing to mistake them for "C.S." 

After police made contact with C.S., they learned that Anderson had been trying to contact her since early October, in some instances using other people's cell phones to send text messages and phone calls to the victim. 

Upon reading a release from MU Police about the incident near the library, an MU student contacted campus police to inform them that a person matching the suspect's description had borrowed his phone more than a week earlier to send a text message to C.S. After obtaining the phone number, MU police made contact with the victim who identified the caller as Timothy Anderson, according to court documents. 

C.S. told police that she had been acquainted with Anderson two years earlier at her high school but broke off contact with him after he made advances toward her, according to a probable cause statement from Columbia police. 

The probable cause statement notes that, following his arrest, Anderson made 15 calls to C.S. from the Boone County Jail, one of which was received while police were interviewing her.

After Anderson's arrest, Tony Coleman, the Director of Campus Security at Stephens College, sent a message to students and staff notifying the campus of the situation.  

Coleman said that seven people reported seeing Anderson on the Stephens campus the same week as the incidents at MU. Three female students at Stephens reported being approached by Anderson, who appeared to mistake them for "C.S."

Coleman urged students to report any unusual activity to campus security. "We'd rather go out and check on something that's innocent enough than to have something like this go unreported," said Coleman.

Anderson was scheduled for a bench trial Tuesday morning, but the trial was rescheduled for Dec. 11.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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