Suspect Arrested in Campus Incidents

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Quick thinking by a female Columbus State University student resulted in the sexual battery arrest Thursday of a male non-student.

Dominic James Vidal, 25, was taken into custody on two counts of sexual battery and held at Muscogee County Jail as a suspect in two CSU main campus attacks – one that occurred Thursday and another on Feb. 1.

University Police reported that the female victim of Thursday’s incident said she had been approached at about 9 a.m. by a man who grabbed her as she was walking toward Jordan Hall from an adjacent parking lot. The female student yelled at the man, who then ran to a nearby white van.  She reported the encounter to University Police and was able to offer the van’s tag number.

Officers found the van, driven by Vidal, in an area listed on the vehicle’s registration, just off Schatulga Road. Upon questioning by officers, he admitted involvement in both the Thursday and Feb. 1 attacks. In the Feb. 1 incident, another female student reported that an unknown male came up behind her at about 12:56 p.m., also outside Jordan Hall, and forcefully placed his hand between her legs, making contact with her groin. The suspect then fled.

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Photo: Dominic James Vidal