Allegheny County

University of Pittsburgh students afraid to walk alone after bizarre incident on campus

PITTSBURGH — University of Pittsburgh police are investigating an incident where a man aggressively tried to put a blanket around a young woman’s shoulders on Pitt’s campus. The incident was caught on camera, but the man got away.

Police released two photos of the man, hoping to get tips to help track him down. They alerted the student body and told Channel 11 the alert has led to many rumors across campus.

Geetika Godabarthy, a freshman from New Hampshire, told us she is more nervous since it’s getting dark outside earlier. “I have later classes...and a lot of my friends to do too. It’s very scary knowing someone like that is out there and I have to walk in the dark.”

Pitt police tell Channel 11 that since the original incident: “multiple parallel, but undocumented and unsubstantiated incidents attributed to this individual have been anonymously discussed on various social media platforms. We encourage anyone who has specific, credible information regarding similar interactions to contact the Pitt police at 412-624-2121.”

Teireik Williams, the president of the South Oakland Neighborhood Group, says a lot of people are calling the individual “blanket man” and “blanket dude.”

He wants to reassure students and people who live in the neighborhood that Pitt police are investigating and it was an isolated incident.

“Not to diminish the situation because safety is our main priority, but I’ve heard ‘don’t go to South Oakland because of Blanket Man’. It’s not the right sentiment. It’s an isolated incident. We are working together as a community to keep people safe.”

The police want to reiterate that the man is not facing any charges at this time, they just want to speak with him about this incident.