Student social media networks were abuzz Friday afternoon with reports of an attempted kidnapping at approximately 10 a.m.
In an email to students at approximately 3:25 p.m., Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, sought to assuage fears and clarify the situation. Moneta wrote that a student standing on Yearby Street on Central Campus reported being approached by a driver in a white van. The driver—described as a black male in his 20s with facial hair—reportedly said “You are my dream; get in the van.”
No DukeALERT was sent about the incident.
Moneta wrote that the student walked away and reported the incident to a nearby security guard. The van was reportedly unmarked and last seen driving towards Duke University road. A photo of the vehicle is available at police.duke.edu. Moneta encouraged reporting any additional information to Duke Police.
He also assured students DUPD was taking the incident seriously.
“Information about this incident is spreading widely across social media and while I do not want to minimize the troubling nature of this incident, I do want to calm excessive fears,” Moneta wrote. “Duke Police are fully engaged in investigation of the incident and we will continue to deploy additional security staff in Central Campus as we have for quite awhile. Your safety remains our highest priority.”
During a visit to Duke University Police Department Headquarters Friday afternoon, an employee confirmed that there was no kidnapping but could not share further details.
In an email sent Thursday afternoon, Moneta wrote that the person driving the van was identified and subsequently banned from campus. He added that the person was not affiliated with Duke.
"The Duke Police have worked closely with the involved student and consider the matter closed," Moneta wrote.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
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