Cheyenne Price was passing the bottom of Baker Center at about 9 p.m. on Jan. 23 when she was stopped by a man.
He asked her if he could take a picture of her, and when Price asked why, he said it was for a project.
"I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, because maybe it was for an organization to promote something so I asked him what sort of project, and he said 'Oh, it’s for a project for myself,'" Price, a junior studying biological sciences, said. “I don’t remember what exactly he said, but somehow it led to him asking me if we could go back to my dorm.”
Price responded that she did not live in a dorm, but the man then asked to go to her house. He then offered to pay her to take pictures of her, and when she declined, he offered her $500. Price declined again and left.
She then called the Ohio University Police Department and made a report. Price said she later posted on Facebook about the incident, which gained a lot of attention.
“A ton of girls were messaging me and commenting on it saying something similar had happened to them,” Price said. “Clearly, it wasn’t just a one-time thing. I definitely think it is something out of the ordinary that police should be aware of.”
Price’s post has been shared more than 1,500 times on Facebook since Jan. 23. She noted in her post that the man was not carrying any bags or camera equipment, even though he was asking to take pictures of her.
Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle said he has “no comment" on whether or not APD has received any similar reports but said posting something on Facebook does not involve law enforcement.
OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan said OUPD has seen several reports about similar kinds of conduct.
A man was arrested for criminal trespassing Jan. 24 when he entered a room in James Hall without permission. Ryan said he believes the arrest has resolved the issue.
Ryan said those reports are not criminal because asking to take someone’s picture is not a criminal offense. The reason they were able to make the arrest, however, is because the man had followed the woman into her James Hall residence without permission.
Ryan said he advises students to call the police if they experience any similar instances, because the police do not see Facebook posts unless they are made aware of them.