The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is working with the Ann Arbor Police Department on its investigation of the murder of Christine Ann Gailbreath, office assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, who was attacked near her west side Ann Arbor home May 7.
Police think the murder may be the work of a serial rapist, who is believed to have attacked a number of Ann Arbor women over the past two years.
Since this particular rapist preys on women alone in secluded areas during daylight and nighttime hours, Capt. James R. Smiley urges women to walk or run with others, keep doors locked, be aware of their surroundings at all times and call Safewalk, 936-1000, or DPS, 763-1131, for escort service when working late at night.
Smiley asks that members of the University community call the Ann Arbor Police tip line, 996-3199, with any information that may lead to the solving of Gailbreaths murder or apprehension of the rapist.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) distributed hundreds of hot-pink whistles to faculty, staff and students following Gailbreaths death. SAPAC also is organizing self- defense workshops. For a schedule, call 763-5865.
Local sporting goods stores sell mace spray devices that comply with Michigan Compiled Laws regarding self-defense sprays. The device cannot contain more than 35 grams of any combination of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients (mace) or a solution containing more than 2 percent oleoresin capsicum. Oleoresin capsicum is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper and works on dogs and humans.
A 35-year-old custodian pled guilty May 12 in Washtenaw County Circuit Court to larceny in a building. He worked primarily at the Michigan League, where he was caught stealing from hotel guests.
Larceny in a building is a felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison, according to DPS.
A 33-year old former U-M employee was arrested April 24 for unlawfully driving away an auto and for an outstanding felony warrant for contempt of court. He pled guilty to a two-year misdemeanor on the driving away of an auto charge.
The former employee had retained keys to a U-M car after leaving the University, Smiley says. Since January he has been picking up the U-M car from the Transportation Services lot on Friday evenings and returning the car on Sundays, logging 100 to 150 miles each weekend, Smiley reports.
A 38-year-old woman who is not affiliated with the University was arrested May 9 on U-M property and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Smiley says she has multiple driving offenses on her record, including two drunk driving convictions.
Her preliminary examination was held May 18. Driving under the influence as a third offense is a felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison.
A 35-year-old man who is not affiliated with the University was arrested May 9 and charged with stalking a female undergraduate student. He has been following the woman and sending letters to her home address, Smiley says.
Stalking is a misdemeanor with a penalty of one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine under Michigans stalking law. Stalking consists of two or more separate acts of unconsented contact between the stalker and the victim. The acts must be done willfully in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
Aggravated stalking is a felony with a penalty of up to five years in jail and/or $10,000 fine. Aggravated stalking is stalking that occurs in violation of a restraining order or a bail or probation condition; a second offense; or a stalking involving a credible threat of violence against the victim, the victims family or members of the victims household.
An administrative assistant in the Department of Psychiatry pled guilty to a reduced charge of larceny over $100 May 4 in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. Arrested in June 1993, the woman, who no longer works at the U-M, was originally charged with embezzling more than $25,000, mostly through filing false vouchers.