Taylor Woolrich, a student at Dartmouth College, knows she’s being stalked. When she was living in San Diego, as a high school student, a man in his 60s began showing a sinister interest in her while she worked at a local café, and since then, no amount of legal cajoling has gotten him off her back – even though she moved across the country.
It started when she was 16 years old; now she’s a 20 year-old junior at the Ivy League school. She took out a restraining order on her alleged stalker, 67 year-old Richard Bennett, but, according to a Wednesday article at Fox News, “it did little to keep Bennett away.”
Woolrich says he constantly harassed her during her first two years at Dartmouth, stalking her on social media and sending messages in which he “promised” to fly across the country to see her at college.
“I thought they were empty threats, but when I came home from school last summer, he was at my front door within eight hours of my plane landing,” she said. “That’s when I realized how serious it was.”
Woolrich and her family called the police, and Bennett was arrested. A search of his car uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items.
Right now, he’s in jail in California, awaiting a court date later this month for violating the restraining order and for felony stalking.
Uncertain as to her alleged stalker’s immediate future, Woolrich wants a gun for personal protection – and she wants it to be with her at all times, which of course includes the times she’s on the Dartmouth campus. But college officials are adamant that that’s not going to happen.
After researching gun laws in both California and New Hampshire, where Dartmouth’s located, Woolrich realized both States have provisions that could afford her an exemption from their restrictive gun laws.
But that exemption ends where the Dartmouth campus begins.
“[Guns on campus are] strictly prohibited and we are not in the habit of making exceptions,” college spokesman Justin Anderson told Fox News. “But we certainly do everything we possibly can to make all our students feel safe.”
That’s a relief – so much so that Woolrich says she will leave Dartmouth if Bennett is released from jail while she’s still a student there.
“Every morning I check the inmate lookup online to see if he has made bail. I feel safe for now, but the day he gets out is the day I will have to leave Dartmouth,” she said.