SAN DIEGO — A 20-year-old student from San Diego is criticizing Dartmouth College for not letting her carry a concealed gun on campus for protection against a man facing criminal charges for stalking her.
Taylor Woolrich said she asked the university to make an exception to their gun ban because she feared an attack from Richard Bennett, who she said started stalking her when she was 16.
Bennett, 67, was arrested by San Diego County sheriff’s deputies in June and is in jail on suspicion of stalking with a court order in effect and possessing a firearm while under a restraining order.
“I deserve to feel safe and know that if something did happen that I’d have the ability to protect myself and those around me,” Woolrich said Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Students for Conceal Carry and the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Dartmouth doesn’t allow people to carry handguns on campus, like most schools across the country. The university said in a statement that, “The safety and security of all Dartmouth students is a top priority.”
Woolrich said Bennett began stalking her in 2010 when she worked at a cafe. She said that she got a three-year restraining order after Bennett tried to attack her boyfriend.
Woolrich said Bennett found her sorority at Dartmouth and her parents’ new home. He also contacted her through Facebook and LinkedIn.
Woolrich said hadn’t seen him for 18 months when she returned to the San Diego area this spring. He appeared at her parents’ home hours after she arrived.
Her family called police and officers found gloves, a rope tied into a slip noose, duct tape, hunting knives, gloves and maps of the area, she said.
Bennett told KGTV of San Diego in a jailhouse interview in June, “I am innocent as the day is long.” He said the restraining order “is against this girl and I went to visit the parents. They are nowhere near that restraining order.”