TPD raising awareness of harasser
Published 4:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2015
Troy officers are encouraging residents to be aware of their surroundings and be wary of potential panhandlers in light of recent events.
Andre Harley, 48, of Troy, was arrested last Friday on a warrant of harassment following an incident that took place Thursday at a restaurant on U.S. Highway 231 South.
Lt. Bryan Weed, public information officer with Troy PD, said Harley confronted a young woman who attends Troy University on Thursday night, and she filed a report Friday concerning the incident. This is not the first incident in which Harley is a suspect, Weed said.
“He is well-known in the department,” Weed said. “We’ve had several calls on him in reference to panhandling or him having run scams on people.”
Weed said Harley typically approaches people in parking lots and goes through a story about he has fallen on hard times or is in need of money for gas.
“There are numerous stories he will try to give people asking for money, but they are all stories trying to feed off of the good nature of people and try and take advantage of their goodness to get them to give him money,” Weed said.
Harley has been arrested numerous times on warrants for harassment, and Weed said when officers are given the opportunity to serve the warrants they do.
“We’ve taken countless reports on him,” Weed said, adding that at least 20 businesses in the area have filed complaints about Harley bothering customers. Weed described Harley as a 5’9” man weighing approximately 180 pounds. Weed said Harley is often seen wearing glasses and is typically wearing a baseball cap or hat of some sort.
As part of the efforts to deter any crimes like this and to keep the public educated, Weed said that it is important to stress to children and to all family members not to engage in conversation with someone you do not know.
“Something we’ve tried to push is to encourage people to be aware of their environments and their surroundings at all times,” Weed said. “If you see someone approaching your vehicle and you don’t know roll your windows up and lock your doors. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t seem like they belong somewhere, no matter where it is, call the police department and we will send officers out to further investigate.”
Weed said the department was really stressing people to be increasingly aware of their surroundings and to call if they notice any suspicious activities in their neighborhoods.
While the incident did not occur on the Troy University campus, Weed said the department took pride in the continued relationship between Troy Police Department and the university.
“We take pride in the university and we take pride in providing a professional service to the community, to the university and to the parents who have privileged us to having their children in our town at the university,” Weed said. “We want to make them feel comfortable that when they go home and their children are here with us, they are safe.”