VCU police arrest sexual assault suspect

Marcello Toliver
Marcello Toliver

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We've uncovered new information about how VCU police caught a man they say sexually assaulted several students.

VCU police charged 21-year-old Marcello Toliver with sexual battery and indecent exposure after several reports came in this week.

Students by now have heard an attacker was on the loose — VCU police documented 4 reports of a man forcibly fondling or indecently exposing himself to women — but word hadn't yet spread that police arrested Toliver.

Safety on campus, especially at night, is a concern for many.

"I would like to feel safe walking alone from, I work in the library and I get off sometimes at 2:30 in the morning. I'd like to be able to walk three blocks to my house safely but I don't feel safe doing that," said VCU Senior, Alison Schapiro.

"We live slightly off campus, so once you leave campus you think about it, but it's not like I'm living in constant fear," said VCU student, Rachel West.

Police say all four incidents happened near the campus but the final incident led to the arrest.

It's near the corner of Floyd Avenue and Morris Street, where police say a woman called them just after 11 p.m. Wednesday, claiming a man just exposed himself.

Just moments later, on the corner of Harrison Street and Grove Avenue, VCU Police say they were driving by and noticed a man who fit the description of the suspect and identified him as Toliver.

"Through our investigation, we tied this individual to at least two of the earlier sexual batteries that occurred over the past day or two," said VCU Police Chief John Venuti.

Chief Venuti stresses that VCU's campus remains safe.

If you ever feel uneasy about walking alone, you can call VCU's security escort service: just call 828-WALK.

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