Peeping Tom reported in bathrooms at University of Rhode Island

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) – Campus police officers at the University of Rhode Island are working to identify a Peeping Tom.

According to school officials, the suspect recorded students without their permission up to four times in two residence halls: Butterfield and Weldin. 

The reported incidents happened on Sunday and Monday nights. 

Students were alerted to the news on Tuesday via a campus-wide email.

“I was really creeped out,” said freshman Madison Viotto. “I couldn’t believe that someone could actually do that.”

School officials did not comment beyond a statement provided to students, citing the ongoing investigation.     

“It made me uncomfortable that students could do that to other students,” said freshman Nick Farley, who lives in Weldin Hall.

“We chose URI because it was a safe community and nothing like that has ever happened before,” said freshman Sidney Jablonski.

Jablonski said she feels violated because at least one of the video voyeurism incidents happened in her bathroom. 

“I was in the bathroom at the same time as this incident and I don’t know if anything happened to me because I wasn’t paying attention because I never thought that this would be a concern,” said Jablonski.

Campus police officers are now searching for a male, between 5’8” and 5’10”, who’s stocky with dark curly hair that is short on the sides.

Many students said they won’t feel comfortable until the suspect is caught. 

“We have been going to the bathroom together, so one of us takes a shower and the other one stands outside the door,” said Jablonski. 

According to school officials, housing and residential life staff will conduct additional evening rounds in buildings with community restrooms.

Campus police will also increase patrols of the residence halls.   

School officials advised all students to “exercise additional awareness” when showering and report any suspicious behavior to campus police or housing staff.

If you have any information that might lead to the identification of the suspect, call campus police at 401-874-4910.

 The following is the campus-wide email sent to students: 

This notice is being sent on behalf of the URI Police Department and Housing and Residential Life

10/29/2019

Dear ,

The University has been made aware of up to four instances of video voyeurism in two residence halls on the Kingston Campus, Weldin and Butterfield. URI Police are actively investigating the incidents, which occurred late Sunday and Monday evenings.

The University is supporting the students who reported these incidents, and the safety of our community is our top priority. Housing and Residential Life staff will be conducting additional evening rounds in buildings with community restrooms and URI police will increase patrols of the residence halls.

Please exercise additional awareness when showering and report any suspicious behavior to URI police or HRL staff.

The description witnesses have provided is as follows: Male, between 5’8” and 5’10”, stocky, dark curly hair, short on the sides.

If you have any information that might lead to the identification of the responsible party or parties, please contact URI PD at 401-874-4910.

For emergencies please call 874-2121.