Several students from Oregon State University have reported the recent presence of felony sex offender Timothy Mross, 36, near campus property.
Mross is labeled a level three sex offender, the highest level of sex offender status, by the State of Oregon police. He has been convicted in both 2013 and 2017 with a felony charge of public indecency. The level three denomination is given to individuals “who present the highest risk of reoffending and require the widest range of notification,” according to the Oregon law official webpage.
Annika Rietmann, a student attending OSU, described her interaction with Mross via email.
She was out with four female friends at McMenamins outside on Monroe at around 7 p.m. one evening last October. Mross sat next to a table directly across from them and kept staring right at them, according to Rietmann.
“We tried to ignore him,” Rietmann said. “We were scared during the encounter and very freaked out, [and] wanted to leave but we had just gotten our food when he sat near us.”
One of the waitresses at McMenamins reportedly attempted to tell Mross to leave the area before calling the police. Mross then allegedly left to go to Clodfelter’s Pub, another restaurant on Monroe Avenue across from the OSU campus.
Andrew Collins, another student attending OSU, reported via email that Mross has been at the Extra Mile convenience store that Collins works at multiple times, with the most recent encounter on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Collins stated that a few months back, Mross allegedly entered the store intoxicated and attempted to purchase alcohol. When Collins rejected Mross’ request twice, Mross began to ask other customers for a cigarette. Mross reportedly got very close to these customers and every response was rejection. He was also told to back off multiple times by both customers and Collins.
“When he was refused a cigarette, he walked away angrily, cursing and waited for another customer to walk out,” Collins said. “After about five minutes of this, I broke away from helping customers [in the store] to kick him off our property to which he walked off even angrier and screamed profanities and racial slurs at no one directly. Overall his presence was very creepy and even the times he has been around [the store] sober, his behavior was very clearly that of a predator.”
Although Collins stated that Mross has shown no signs of physical threats in Collins’ own personal experience, Collins has seen Mross show signs of aggression to individuals.
According to a safety alert email sent out by OSU to students, Mross has been excluded from the Corvallis campus and OSU property since 2016. No sightings of Mross on campus have been reported, but OSU’s Department of Public Safety remains vigilant.
Lieutenant Ryan Eaton of the Corvallis Police Department recommends that students and members of the community should generally focus on their own personal awareness. Additionally, he recommends having a buddy while walking around at night for those who are uncomfortable walking alone.
“If a buddy isn’t available, the other thing you could do is start a phone call with somebody,” Eaton said. “You can still practice awareness while talking on the phone, and it also sends the message to people in the area who may approach that there is somebody you have immediate communication with.”
Gabe Shepherd, Ward 4 city councillor overseeing OSU campus and the immediate area, strongly encourages reporting harassment to the appropriate authorities. He also encourages community members to speak up or report when harassment is witnessed.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of in reporting an occurrence,” Shepherd said via email. “It is not your fault and any information you provide could be useful in an ongoing investigation that you don’t even know about.”
If observed on campus or other OSU property, DPS stated within the alert email that students and other members of the OSU community should not approach or confront Mross. Instead, they urged students and faculty to call the DPS safety line at 541-737-3010. In the case of an emergency, call 911 for assistance.