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Ladies: a public service announcement

From the Cornell Police today:

Due to the increased level of criminal activity last night, we are strongly urging members of the Cornell community to take prudent and necessary safety precautions, including: locking your doors and windows at all times, using alternative methods of transportation such as Blue Light escorts, Blue Light buses, taxis or contact a friend, travel in groups regardless of the hour, and call 911 or use a blue light phone if you see anything suspicious.

What exactly comprised this "increased level of criminal activity"?  Three reports:

The first incident occurred at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Sept. 2, in the lower Hughes parking lot located at the east end of South Avenue. A female student reported that a male subject grabbed her around the waist from behind and pulled at her shirt very aggressively. She screamed and used a bag she was carrying to hit the subject. Some other students in the area intervened, and the male subject fled towards the Hughes Hall pathway.

followed by

Cornell University Police are investigating a reported rape that occurred on stairs leading to the south side of the suspension bridge from the 800 block of University Ave. at about 3:45 a.m. Sunday, September 2, 2012. 
A female victim reported that she was walking down the stairs when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown male who forced her to have sexual intercourse. The victim states that the suspect is a dark-skinned or Hispanic-white male, 5’09” to 6’ tall. No further description is available at this time. The suspect fled north across the suspension bridge.
The police investigation is continuing. Anyone with information related to this crime should contact Cornell University Police at (607) 255-1111
followed by
The following off campus incident was reported to the Cornell Police on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at approximately 8:05 a.m. by the victim after she saw today’s earlier crime alert.

The Ithaca Police Department is investigating a reported forcible touching incident that occurred on Sunday, September 02, 2012 at approximately 3:15 a.m. at 205 College Avenue.

During this incident, the victim reports that she answered a knock at her door and a male subject asked for an individual that did not reside there. The female resident stated that she was unfamiliar with any person by that name and tried to close the door on the male subject. The male subject forced his way into the residence and a brief struggle ensued. During the struggle, the male subject put his arm around the victim and reached under her dress. The victim was able to push the male subject out of the residence.

The victim describes the perpetrator as a college-aged Hispanic male, average build, 5’09”-5’10” tall, dark hair, wearing a white long sleeve button down shirt and plaid knee-length shorts. The perpetrator reportedly has a noticeable mole on one cheek. The subject was last seen headed in the direction of Collegetown .

Anyone with information should contact the Ithaca Police Department at (607) 272-9973.
Since we hear that it is notoriously difficult to get a handgun permit in Tompkins County—we do so cherish the Second Amendment here—you may want to know what the rules are regarding pepper spray.
In order to purchase pepper spray in New York you must be at least 18 years of age and have no record of felony or assault convictions either in New York, or another state. You may only buy pepper spray in New York from a fully licensed firearms dealer or from a pharmacist who has a permit to sell it. Before finalizing a purchase of pepper spray, you must fill out a form indicating that you are of legal age and are free of felony convictions. The total number of pepper spray canisters that can be sold to one person at one time is two.
Pepper spray canisters sold in New York must include directions for proper use. They must also contain information regarding safety and storage, as well as first-aid information. Each canister must also supply a toll-free telephone number regarding the availability of local self-defense training and safety courses for using the product. Finally, the canister must declare that using the spray for any purpose other than self-defense is a criminal offense.
It is only legal to carry pepper spray in New York if the canister is pocket-sized. Each canister must have a label on it indicating that the spray is for self-defense purposes only. Although it is legal to carry pepper spray in New York, it must be purchased within the state. It is illegal to mail pepper spray from another city, state or country into New York.
The New York Department of Health places regulations on exactly what types of self-defense pepper spray can be sold in the state. The active ingredient in any canister of legal pepper spray must be oleo-resin capsicum. The maximum net weight of any canister is 3/4oz. Furthermore, the canister itself may not appear to be anything but pepper spray. Disguising it to look like something else is a criminal offense.
Got all that? Who do you think NYS is more concerned about, you or the creep who's trying to attack you?  
That's what I thought, too.
As someone who has several female offspring, I think there's a better deterrent than pepper spray....remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away...
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