WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Alert Raleigh bus driver helps nab NC State sex assault

Alert Raleigh bus driver helps nab NC State sex assault suspect

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A man police say fondled an N.C. State University co-ed on campus Friday morning was caught after an alert Raleigh bus driver saw the man on his bus and called police.

Campus police said a woman was walking near Dabney Hall around 6:53 a.m. Friday when she was approached from behind by a man. According to a Wolf Alert that was sent out to students around 8:55 a.m. Friday, the man touched the student's buttocks and genitals on the outside of her clothing.

The man fled on foot and N.C. State Campus Police immediately launched a massive search. They released a photograph of the man to the media and soon started getting tips.

“We started getting phone calls from different people saying, ‘I just saw this guy downtown at the transit station at Moore Square,’” said Maj. David Kelly with the NCSU Campus Police.

Campus police officers went downtown to look and reached out to the Raleigh Police for help. It turned out a transit officer had even given the suspect a citation Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Around 11 a.m., a Raleigh bus driver called police with a tip – the man they wanted was on his bus. Kelly said officers were waiting when the bus pulled over on Salisbury Street, and the man agreed to go to Campus Police headquarters.

Kelly said he confessed at the headquarters but first gave police the name and identification of Deearl Creech. It wasn’t until he was taken to the Wake County Detention Center, and about to be fingerprinted, that he confessed that his real name was Ryan McNeil Jr.

McNeil faces charges of sexual battery and felony identity theft.

The assault struck a nerve on the Wolfpack campus, where thousands of co-eds exist in the heart of the capital city.

"I just think it's ridiculous that a girl can't walk back from school when we all have crazy finals going on right now," said student Rebecca Peters. "It just scares me to walk back from the library myself."

But Kelly said sexual assaults like what happened Friday are extremely rare at N.C. State.

“N.C. State is a very safe campus,” Kelly said. “Our crime stats are very low when we deal with any sort of aggravated crime.”

The No. 1 crime on campus, he said, is larceny.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

.Dabney Hall on N.C. State campus

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