- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Dartmouth student who has been terrorized by a male stalker for years says she may have to drop out of the Ivy League school because of its policy against guns.

“It’s absolutely unfair,” said Taylor Woolrich, a 20-year-old junior who said university officials wouldn’t make an exception for her to carry a gun, Fox News reported. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.”

Miss Woolrich was 16 and working in a San Diego cafe when she first met her stalker. Richard Bennett, 67, would come in to buy coffee every day and stare at her for long periods of time. One time he stood outside the cafe all day and followed her home. She filed a restraining order, which did little to keep Mr. Bennett at bay, Fox News reported.

Things seriously escalated when Miss Woolrich moved to go to school in New Hampshire, and Mr. Bennett showed up at her house.

“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.”

Mr. Bennett was arrested, and police uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items from his car. He faces felony stalking charges and is currently in jail in San Diego County. He could face up to four years if convicted, Fox News reported.

“Every morning I check the inmate lookup online to see if he has made bail,” she said. “I feel safe for now, but the day he gets out is the day I will have to leave Dartmouth.”

The minimum age to get a concealed weapon in California is 21, though exceptions can be made under special circumstances. However, Dartmouth administrators have told Miss Bennett at every turn that no exception will be made.

“It’s strictly prohibited and we are not in the habit of making exceptions,” spokesman Justin Anderson told Fox News. “But we certainly do everything we possibly can to make all our students feel safe.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide