SAN DIEGO – A 20-year-old Dartmouth student from San Diego may have to give up her Ivy League dreams because the college won’t let her protect herself against a predator.
Taylor Woolrich is in her junior year at the college. She said Richard Bennett has stalked her ever since she was in high school.
“My story is any girl’s story,” said Woolrich, as she spoke at a recent Students for Concealed Carry Conference in Washington D.C.
Taylor told the story of how her nightmare began with the simple act of serving a cup of coffee with a smile.
“I think about it all the time what did I do? And then I realize it’s not me, I didn’t do anything, it’s him,” said Woolrich.
Since that day 63-year old Richard James Bennett followed Woolrich’s every move. He is now being held in the Vista Detention Facility. He was arrested for violating a restraining order. He is being held on a $300,000 bail.
Woolrich said Bennett has stalked her for the past four years.
“Coming into the coffee shop turned into sitting there through my entire shift,” said the Dartmouth student. She is back in San Diego for the summer, but on Friday she was not ready to speak to any media.
She recently told her story at the Students for Concealed Carry conference in Washington D.C.
“When he was arrested by police they found a so called Rape Kit in the back of his car,” said Taylor. “It consisted of a duct tape, a rope tied into a slip noose, and various other items.
Woolrich said Bennett has even attacked her boyfriend.
“He threw coffee on him and said he’s never to speak to me again,” said Taylor. “I then got an emergency restraining order. When I returned to work the next morning, he was standing there.”
Woolrich now attends college in New Hampshire, but she said that has not even stopped Bennett.
“He found me at Dartmouth. He found my sorority.”
It’s why she’s taking matters into her own hands; she has asked Dartmouth for permission to carry a gun.
“They told me no way,” said Woolrich. “They know about the restraining order, they know about everything.”
Fox 5 reached out to Dartmouth and we were told no comments could be made on individual student’s situation. However, we received a statement saying, “The safety and security of all Dartmouth students is top priority. Any student who reports being stalked is provided with individualized attention and heightened protection. Dartmouth has a policy that prohibits handguns on campus.”
Woolrich said she was told she could call campus security if she feels unsafe.
“Dartmouth thinks banning weapons will keep students safe, but a gun ban isn’t going to stop him from attacking me.”
The junior added if Bennett is released, she would consider dropping out if she is not allowed to carry a weapon.