Update: Campus stalking and harassing suspect released from jail

June 9, 2022

Note: This message is intended to alert the university community to concerning and potentially dangerous behavior from a person who is not part of our university community. The intent is to encourage individuals with information to bring that information to campus law enforcement and to provide information so individuals can take appropriate measures to best protect themselves. More information is available here.

Trigger Warning: This alert discusses sensitive information pertaining to sexual misconduct. Information about resources is available here.

SAFETY ALERT UPDATE—On Thursday, June 16, Anietie Umoren was released from the Salt Lake County Jail. Umoren, 40, a registered sex offender, has been banned from the University of Utah campus. Any member of the community who sees Umoren on campus should call University Police at 801-585-2677.

On Thursday, June 9, at 8:58 a.m., the University of Utah Police Department arrested Anietie Umoren, 40, for stalking and trespassing after two women reported him aggressively following and harassing them at the Marriott Library. Responding to these concerns, University Police also learned that Umoren had outstanding warrants for his arrest. University Police transported him to the Salt Lake County Jail, where he remains in custody.

Umoren is a registered sex offender. The warrants for his arrest stem from his refusal to comply with Utah’s sex offender law. He is using different names and not disclosing his age. The victims reported seeing and interacting with him multiple times on campus, including in the Union Building and the University Store, starting on May 31.

The university has issued a no trespass directive and permanent "campus ban" to Umoren barring him from returning to campus. Any member of the community who sees Umoren on campus should call University Police at 801-585-2677.

Prevention and Safety Tips

This safety warning is being issued as part of the University of Utah’s efforts to provide helpful information about potential threats to the campus community. While it may be distressing to learn about this incident, it is being shared so you can best protect yourself. Responsibility for a crime lies with the person committing it; however, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing crime.

  • It is important to keep in mind that:
    • Perpetrators of interpersonal violence can be from any race, class, or creed.
    • Interpersonal violence crimes are often committed by someone known to the person being victimized
  • If you or someone you know is a victim of interpersonal violence, call the LINK line at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or visit the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health website.
  • Consent is required for all sexual interactions. Consent cannot be granted if a person is under the influence of alcohol, coerced, or under duress or force. If you are unsure if a person wants to engage in sexual behavior, DO NOT DO IT.
  • Coercion includes “wearing a person down” until they say yes. This is not consent.
  • The vast majority of sexual assault occurs between two people who know each other. Usually, victims of sexual assault know, and sometimes trust, the person who hurt them.
  • If you notice one of your friends ignoring another person’s boundaries, remove your friend from the situation and tell them their behavior is not OK.
  • If you’re meeting someone new, let others know when and where you’re meeting and plan to meet in a public setting. Trust your gut if anything feels off.
  • Use the U’s SafeRide program or a courtesy escort (main campus: 801-585-2677; University Hospital: 801-581-2294) to get around campus.
  • Let a family member or friend know when you’re going somewhere and your estimated time of arrival or return. This allows them to notify police as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
  • If you feel uneasy, leave the area. Go to a safe location and notify University Police at 801-585-2677, or in case of an emergency, dial 911.
  • Take care of one another and consider stopping and being present until help arrives in situations where someone may be experiencing harm. The person causing harm may stop if other people are around.
  • Report any suspicious activities to University Police at 801-585-2677. Be prepared to provide as many details as possible.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions, especially when walking alone. Try to avoid isolated or dark areas. Walk in groups whenever you can—there is safety in numbers.
  • If a person approaches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, maintain a distance and be observant; if they are in a vehicle, get the license plate number, make, model, color, and any additional identifiers, such as damage to the vehicle and direction of flight, if possible.

Support and Resources

University of Utah active aggressor preparation

The University of Utah community mourns with the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Senseless acts of violence occur all too frequently in our country, including on university campuses. In the aftermath of this tragedy, many have rightly asked how prepared we are to handle a similar situation on our campus.

Campus safety is a top priority and one that requires a consistent and vigilant effort from all of us. To provide some insight into our efforts to prepare for the unthinkable, Chief Safety Officer Keith Squires answers some of the questions we have received from groups across campus.

Campus Safety Q&A with Chief Safety Officer Keith Squires

Is the University of Utah prepared to handle an active shooter on campus?

As a department of public safety responsible for protecting students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus, incidents like what we saw unfold in Texas serve as stark reminders of the magnitude of our responsibility and the importance of preparing for similar incidents.

When I first assumed my current role, and with the high amount of turnover in both the University Safety Department and the University Police, we prioritized preparing for an active shooter incident and carried out in-depth planning, training and drills at the Park Building in July 2021.

Participants included representatives from all U Safety divisions: police, campus security, U of U Health security, victim advocates, emergency communications (dispatch), and emergency management. Support was provided by the president’s cabinet and other campus departments.

How did the active shooter drill help the University Safety Department prepare for an incident?

Since the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999, the training for dealing with an active aggressor on campus has evolved and those practices differ from how the situation in Uvalde appears to have unfolded. In an active aggressor situation, one or multiple suspects open fire in a random or systematic manner with the intent to harm others. Usually, this is done with the objective of inflicting serious bodily harm or death, rather than while committing other criminal conduct.

We learned a great deal from the 2021 campus exercise that is helping us further develop our response and protection efforts. University Police officers continue to receive related training. While it is impossible to be over-prepared, our personnel are very skilled and equipped to coordinate a swift and effective response should we face a similar situation. Our officers are committed to immediately engage to stop armed aggressors on campus.

Some important achievements and highlights from the July 2021 drills:

  • The drills were the first major campus exercise to use police body cameras. The footage is being used to enhance officer training and response capabilities.
  • The response time from when officers first entered the building to when the “shooter” was in custody was two minutes.
  • A single display map with 3D space planning images—called a Common Operating Picture—was developed specifically for the Park Building ahead of the exercise and was critical to the effective police response. This interior mapping technology will be used as we conduct planning and training drills in other buildings and spaces.

What do you want students, faculty and staff to know about police response to these situations?

Responding effectively to an active aggressor situation is a challenge for well-trained police and safety personnel. Students, faculty and staff can play an important role in helping law enforcement save lives as we make critical decisions and put our training into action during a response.

I would encourage you to watch the Active Shooter Training video we produced

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • In a high-stakes situation like this, our safety personnel are trained to proceed immediately to the area where shots were last heard to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. Officers may be from different law enforcement agencies and dressed in different uniforms or in civilian clothes and wearing bulletproof vests. Coordination among varying agencies is critical to the response.
  • Regardless of how officers appear, remain calm. Do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages that you are carrying and keep your hands visible at all times.
  • If you know where the shooter is, or know the shooter’s description, tell the officers.
  • The first officers to arrive will be going directly to stop the shooter and will not be able to help injured victims. Rescue teams will follow shortly after the first responding officers enter the area. They will attend to the injured and evacuate everyone safely.
  • Keep in mind that once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene. Police will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is under control and witnesses have been identified. Until you have been released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.

Where have public safety teams run active aggressor drills on campus?

Our 2021 enhanced training and drills were staged in the Park Building and have become a template to guide other personnel working in university buildings across campus. The Park Building was chosen as a training ground because of its recognized prominence and to provide university leaders an opportunity to be involved.

We wanted to make sure the training was more than theoretical and safety personnel treated the exercise as a real incident. We were able to use mapping technology to provide intelligence that will help response teams navigate the building. We also ensured communication lines are in place between the University Police, the Salt Lake City Police Department, other agencies likely to respond, and dispatchers. In addition, we were able to work with campus administrators and staff to help them better understand the potential threats and their roles during an incident.

Will other areas of campus have opportunities to prepare with active aggressor drills?

The more we prepare and practice, the better our response will be should the situation arise. The University Safety Department is committed to running similar trainings across campus and we encourage college deans and department chairs to make scheduling a drill in their buildings a priority in the coming months. Those who wish to schedule our active aggressor assessment and training for their staff and buildings can do so by contacting the University Safety Department at 801-213-1090 or https://emergency.utah.edu/request-a-training/.