Vanderbilt student reports attempted kidnapping near campus


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While many were celebrating Easter weekend, Vanderbilt Police were investigating the report of an attempted kidnapping. A female student says Saturday evening she was nearly kidnapped by a man off 21st Avenue.

“It was shocking to me,” said Gracie Gumm, a sophomore at Vanderbilt. “Vanderbilt sent us an email like as soon as they got the police report about it.”

University Police say the incident happened on Grand Avenue between 18th and 19th Avenues. The female victim says a gentleman called out to her and when she ignored him, he ran up to her, grabbed her and picked her up off the ground.

“It definitely doesn’t make me feel safe,” said Gumm. “I live on campus, and a lot of my friends are off campus, so when we’re studying and stuff, either they are walking back from campus to their apartments or vice versa.”

This is the third suspicious report involving a college student in less than a month. Two of them involved Belmont students. The similarity is enough to make these students be a bit more proactive in protecting themselves.

“In the event that I’m walking home from the library late or something I just try to walk as fast as I can,” said Cecily Shi, also a sophomore.

Vanderbilt Police are now investigating, and offered these safety tips to students:

  • Avoid isolated or dark areas.
  • If a stranger does approach, maintain a distance and be observant; if they are in a vehicle, get the license plate number.
  • Never get in a car with a stranger.
  • Stay alert. If you feel uneasy, leave the area. Go to a safe location and notify VUPD.
  • Report any suspicious persons to VUPD. Be prepared to describe the person as best as you can.

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