Dartmouth student denied concealed carry despite aggressive stalker
Yesterday a student panelist at the annual Students for Concealed Carry conference in Washington D.C., spoke of her persistent struggle to protect herself against a relentless and potentially deadly stalker.
Taylor Woolrich, a student at Dartmouth College, faced the obsessive man for the first time at work when she served him a cup of coffee. The man was at least 40 years older than her and immediately fixated on the young woman. He continually showed up wherever Woolrich was and used every resource possible to contact her over the next few weeks.
"They've known about the restraining order, they've known about everything and they were sympathetic and then whenever I asked them to obtain authorization on campus to carry a concealed weapon they told me ‘no way.'"
"Eventually it all came to a climax when he attacked, well attempted to attack my then-boyfriend in high school when I was 17-years-old,” Woolrich told attendees. “[I] told him he should never speak to me again and threw hot coffee in his face. I got an emergency restraining order.”
The restraining order did little to alleviate Woolrich’s fear; the man continued to contact her. Eighteen months after the order was granted, Woolrich returned from Dartmouth late at night only to find the man knocking on her family’s front door the next morning.
WATCH: Dartmouth student Taylor Woolrich tells conference attendees about her stalker.
Woolrich and her family called the police. When they arrested the stalker, they discovered what they termed a “rape kit.”
“It consisted of a sweatshirt, firewood, maps of the area, duct tape, a rope tied into a slip noose, hunting knives and various other items,” Woolrich said.
She asked Dartmouth Safety and Security officials for permission to carry a concealed weapon on campus to protect herself.
“They've known about the restraining order, they've known about everything and they were sympathetic and then whenever I asked them to obtain authorization on campus to carry a concealed weapon they told me ‘no way,’" Woolrich said. "No appeals process, no supervisor.”
The operator of Safety and Security told Woolrich that campus escorts would walk with her if she felt threatened, but it didn’t take long until the escorts were fed up with Woolrich’s constant requests. They allegedly would tell her that she couldn't contact them all the time or only after 9:00 p.m.
“I'd like to say that my stalker doesn't really care what time of day it is,” said Woolrich. “He doesn't care if it's light or dark or if I'm on the east coast or the west coast or out of the country. I have an out of control situation and I'm asking for my control back."
Woolrich’s stalker is now in jail. His trial will proceed in a month, but Dartmouth officials are still denying Woolrich the right to carry a gun on campus.
"Dartmouth thinks banning weapons will keep students safe, but a gun ban isn't going to stop him from attacking," Woolrich added. "At Dartmouth, if a restraining order and law enforcement can't guarantee my safety, then I'm asking for the right to do so."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLittCRO