CU-Boulder armed kidnapping report -- but did it (and other campus crimes) really happen?

Categories: Crime
Late last night, the CU-Boulder Police Department announced that it was investigating a possible armed kidnapping. But this morning, a CUPD spokesman tells us there have been no missing persons reported at the school, or in the City and County of Boulder.

Did it really happen? That's unknown at this point. But a number of possible offenses said to have taken place on campus during the past couple of months either turned out not to be crimes or remain unsubstantiated. Details below.

Around 9:15 p.m. last night, according to a CUPD release, a CU student saw a white male in a dark-colored hoodie get out of a car near the Benson Earth Sciences Building and point what looked like a gun at another man. Shortly thereafter, both got into the back seat of a car before it headed east on Colorado Avenue past Folsom Street.

Ryan Huff.
The CUPD immediately put out an alert, asking students, faculty and staff who might have knowledge of the incident to contact officers at 303-492-6666. Included was a description of the presumed victim: an African-American male wearing jeans, a blue shirt and, maybe, a backpack.

Thus far, though, CUPD spokesman Ryan Huff says no one matching this description has been reported missing at CU or Boulder as a whole. Indeed, no one's missing in the area during this time frame, period.

Did the CUPD jump the gun, as it were? Nope, since the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal law, requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funding to share such information as soon as possible.

"City and County law enforcement agencies don't have these rules," Huff points out. "With these crimes, we don't have the benefit of taking our time to investigate before we send out alerts. But after a day or two passes, we may learn that a crime didn't occur," or the evidence of lawbreaking is uncertain.

Examples of this phenomenon abound at CU during the past couple of months. Take two high-profile reports from August.

"A couple of weeks before school started, we had two separate incidents of people reporting possible sex assaults that occurred somewhere on campus," Huff notes. "But they were third-party reports, and the third party wouldn't provide any contact information for the victim" -- and in the weeks since then, no one has come forward to confirm a sexual assault took place.

Continue for more about crime reports on the CU-Boulder campus.

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