USF alert not sent too early - WFLA News Channel 8

USF alert not sent too early

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

As police helicopters hovered overhead and K9 units tracked 24 year old Charlie Bates, the suspect wanted in connection with multiple overnight home invasions and sexual assaults, University of South Florida police issued text alerts to its student body.

At 1:55 a.m. the first alert stated,"There is an unsafe situation in the vicinity of campus. Remain alert. Avoid area north of campus."

Student Kayleigh Jamison says she was sleeping in her apartment when she got the alert.

"It kind of worried me, cause it said 'be alert', something was going on around the area," Jamison said.

Four and a half hours later at 6:33 a.m., the manhunt intensifying, U.S.F. police sent a second alert to students.

"The event is over. Investigation on series of home invasions north of campus continues."

The event was far from over.

U.S.F.'s student newspaper, The Oracle, began tweeting, "U.S.F. Sends text stating event is over. Suspect remains at large."

Social media and emergency notification were informing and confusing at the same time.

"I guess it's just a little scary, you know ,like, there's someone out there right now that could try anything on us, they don't really know where he is or what he's doing," student Eamani Obiu said.

Despite the manhunt that was ongoing, north of campus, U.S.F. police lieutenant Chris Daniel insists, the text that the Oracle questioned, was not a mistake, nor was it sent too early.

"Everything that's being conducted was going on north of us and east of us, so had the situation changed and we felt that there was a continued threat to this campus, we would not put out the alert," Daniel said.

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