East Stroudsburg, Monroe County - A kidnapping near a college campus has students, parents, and police on edge.
Stroud Area Regional Police say there are three incidents that might be related. The first was in September. A student said a strange man approached her on Analomink Street and said she shouldn't be walking alone. But he didn't hurt her and she ran off.
Police say on October 21st a young woman was walking on North Green Street. It was about 11:15 p.m. when she said two men claiming to have a gun got out of a car and approached her. Stroud Area Regional Police Captain Brian Kimmins added, "She was dragged into the car by two black males and a third one was driving, brought her to an unknown location, and she was able to escape."
Kimmins said Campus Police originally investigated the October 21st incident. He would not elaborate on why it took weeks for Campus Police to notify Regional Police saying that could jeopardize the investigation.
He also would not elaborate on what happened to the alleged victim at the "unknown location" or how she managed to escape. He said those details could jeopardize the investigation and might hurt the alleged victim.
Stroud Area Regional Police learned about the October abduction investigation when they were notified of the most recent incident. That happened Friday November 2nd around 2 in the morning. A female student was walking on Prospect Street when she said someone tried to pull her into a car. Kimmins added, "A black male wearing a hoodie tried to drag her in but she was able to fight herself out."
All incidents involved an older, red, four door sedan. But police can't say for sure if the incidents are related. Until they figure it out, officers are increasing patrols near the ESU campus.
Police urge students to watch out for their own safety as well. They say no one should walk alone, especially at night. The University offers a free safe ride program. Just call 570-422-3064 or 570-422-2000 for an escort.
ESU students said they are shaken by the news. Freshman Jillian Urban said she got an email warning students to be careful about two days ago. She said, "It's honestly really scary and no one should ever walk by themselves."
Sophomore Jillian Becker complained that the University took too long to send students a warning email. She said, "I was shocked that it wasn't like right away because we have been walking around like for the past two weeks not even knowing about it."