September 17, 2013 9:58:54 AM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
A Mississippi State student who claimed to be the victim of an attempted abduction near Sessums Hall last week has recanted her story and told university investigators she fabricated the incident, a MSU release states.
The student could be charged with filing a false report, but the Dispatch is unaware if MSUPD has taken such action.
"Student safety is a serious issue and is one of our university's top priorities," said MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois in the release. "We do, however, hope that students will be vigilant in being aware of their surroundings and maintaining normal cautions against any threats to their personal safety."
MSU activated its Maroon Alert notification system at 11:39 p.m. Wednesday about the attempted abduction. The university followed the alert with another that read, "... a female reported to MSUPD that they were walking" behind the dormitory when an "unidentified male attempted to grab them." A subsequent Thursday morning alert said the suspect released the victim and ran toward the Burger King located near Sessums Hall.
It was first reported that a possible witness observed the attacker jump between two cars, grab the female and throw her over his shoulder as he began running.
A preliminary search for the perpetrator and the process of verifying the immediate safety of Sessums Hall residents began immediately after MSU received the report, the release states.
As a precaution, the university operated on an emergency status until early Thursday.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch