Juveniles responsible in repeated water-throwing harassment

The front office of the WKU Police Department on Aug. 26, 2019. The WKU Police Department has begun a complete transformation for the start of the fall 2019 semester. The renovations are meant to improve morale within the department, starting with cosmetic improvements.

Easton Reynolds

Eight juveniles have been identified responsible for a string of multiple harassment complaints on campus, according to a statement released by Tim Gray, Public Information Officer for WKU Police Department.

The investigation was conducted after multiple students reported cups of water thrown at them while walking on campus.

“These individuals are suspected of engaging in a course of conduct and repeatedly committing acts which alarm or seriously annoy others and simply serve no legitimate purpose,” Gray said.

First-hand accounts consistently detailed four to five males driving a blue sedan yelling rude or racially charged remarks at bystanders before throwing water on them.

Emma Smith, a senior from Louisville, was one of those bystanders and recalls being “pretty pissed” after the incident happened.

“It just made me feel, like, disrespected,” Smith said.

Abby Lawalin was also hit after walk- ing with her sister on Park Street. She recalls the cup bursting and Sprite splashing all over her and her sister.

Smith and Lawalin’s stories are not alone. According to Gray, five incidents have been reported directly to the WKUPD; however, on the popular Facebook group “Sorority Swap,” over 50 women have described similar incidents, dat- ing back as far as this summer.

Victims were flustered and hesitant to contact authorities, leaving most of these incidences unreported.

Connor Dhonau, a senior from Hebron, was struck with two cups of water while walking out of Midtown Apartments. He did not contact the WKUPD or the Bowling Green Police Department.

“I didn’t think it’d be any use, not sure what they could do,” Dhonau said. Lawalin, however, did contact BGPD.

“They were super helpful but also let me know that there’s not much they can do which I totally understood,” Lawalin said.

However, of the few that were reported, WKU Police Department were able to identify the registration tags on one of the cars and bring the owner in for questioning, Gray said.

“During an interview with the juvenile driver of that vehicle, we were provided with a list of names of each of the individuals who were present in the two vehicles during the cup throwing incidents that took place on the evening of September 15th,” Gray stated in an email.

According to Gray, these cases are part of an ongoing investigation, and WKUPD will continue monitoring the situation.

“Every member of this campus community, whether a student, faculty, or staff member, has the right to feel safe while here,” Gray stated in an email. “Your personal safety matters to us, and any person(s) who aid in creating an environment that is not conducive to that, can expect to be held accountable for their actions. If you see something, please say something.”

Easton Reynolds can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @epdogg5000.