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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — University of Pittsburgh Police say the men accused of scaring a student by chasing after her in Oakland earlier this week were participating in a scavenger hunt with another university.
Early Tuesday morning, police two males jumped out of a car near Fifth and Ruskin Avenues and appeared to run after a female student. They didn’t say anything and she wasn’t harmed.
The incident, including two others in recent days, launched an investigation and prompted a campus-wide alert to students.
Now, police say they have identified four men involved. They are Richard Calder Buonocore, Matthew Redmond, Otto Laakonen and Jack Armstrong.
An update to a previous crime bulletin has been issued by the University of Pittsburgh Police Department: https://t.co/dkiPunICIv
— Pitt Police (@PittPolice) April 12, 2019
Pitt Police say they were participating in a scavenger hunt sponsored by an informal group from the campus of Denison University, which is located near Columbus, Ohio.
One of the challenges included in the hunt was to “scare someone.”
Investigators say “other tasks included visiting Pittsburgh sports venues, taking selfies at various bridges and publicly insulting prominent Pittsburgh sports figures.”
Police say they have referred the four students back to Denison University for a conduct review. They have also been placed on Persona Non Grata (PNG) status from all Pitt property.
While police say no one was hurt, students who spoke to KDKA’s Pam Surano say they were shaken up by the incidents.
“It was all compounded at once, multiple things happened day after day after day,” says Pitt student Alissa Klammer. “And every single girl at least, who lived in the South Oakland area, was very alarmed.”
Students also say they were frustrated over a lack of information from the school, so several student groups got together and decided to do something.
“Our fraternity, and many of the other fraternities on campus, put out a statements where if a woman didn’t feel safe walking back … anywhere on campus, they could call us,” explained John Altvater, another student.
“I had to deal with a couple of phone calls of people that needed walked home. And that should never have to happen,” he says.
According to the fraternity brothers who spoke to KDKA’s Pam Surano, all the panhellenic organizations released similar statements.