Recent assault forces Troy University students to reconsider personal safety

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


It's the talk on the Troy University campus.

"We do need to learn to defend ourselves," said student Christina Stone.

So much so SGA President William Filmore says the SGA is hosting a town hall meeting Tuesday night at 6:30 in the Trojan Center, a gathering for students and even members of the faculty to get ideas on safety tips.

"Even with security on campus, it's easy to get a little complacent," said Filmore.

It's been a week since a man kidnapped and assaulted a Troy University student from her own home on Smith Street which is one street off campus and left the young lady stranded more than 3 miles away on Needmore Road.

So far no one's been arrested.

Fran Scheel is the face that will try to calm a few jittery nerves around these parts. It is Scheel, a Troy University mental health counselor, who is putting together the Rape Aggression Defense Classes, also known as RAD. The 4 classes begin next week.

WSFA 12 News wants to make it clear this in no way suggests the victim in the case was sexually assaulted. Investigators haven't said either way but the student was stabbed several times. RAD is simply the name of the program.

Scheel's office has gotten more than a hundred emails and countless phone calls from students and faculty members wanting to know more.

"I think this speaks to the level of concern that's out there. What people may not realize that 90% of your self-defense is avoiding situations that could put you at risk," Scheel said.

The RAD classes will be held on campus but university leaders aren't saying where. That's by design.

Those who are signing up, of course, will be told. Otherwise, it's an effort to protect them as they learn how to better protect themselves and yet in talking to students like Christina Stone, it appears change in personal safety has already arrived on campus for the spring semester.

"We're not going out at night as much as we used to," said Stone.

WSFA 12 News has learned the student is 'getting better.. at least physically,' according to a family friend.

Also, late today the city of Troy and Troy University announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who has 'information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the crime.'

Fran Scheel says the RAD classes are free and she's encouraging anyone who is interested in taking the classes to either call 334-670-3700 or email

The deadline to register is noon Friday, January 21.

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