Courageous Students Help Police Track Down Peeping Tom

Eight female college students are being commended for their bravery in helping police identify and arrest a man who was peeping into their windows on multiple occasions.

According to local Minnesota news affiliate WCCO, University of St. Thomas student Emma Button noticed a man staring into her window on the night of Sept. 7.

Upon being noticed, the man fled. In a surprising display of arrogance, however, the man returned the very next night — which is when the eight roommates decided to take matters into their own hands.

“(My roommate) grabbed her pepper spray and we grabbed our phones, and we just walked out of our house,” Button said.

The man fled once again. With adrenaline consuming them, the women followed the man and took pictures of his license plate with their smartphones.

After returning home and calling the plate number into police, officers identified the perpetrator and arrested him on the very same block the next night.

The serial peeper, John David Searle, 44, has been arrested multiple times in the past for several charges, including five prior felony convictions for harassment and stalking, in addition to several misdemeanor convictions for interfering with privacy.

All the way back in 2004, Valley News Live spoke to University of St. Thomas students who claimed that Searle was violating their privacy.

“I think they need to crack down on this guy,” one of the victims said, more than a decade ago. “He needs to get some help or go to jail.”

In the meantime, women all over campus are rushing to secure their windows with draperies and make the proper safety precautions to prevent this from happening to them.

Ramsey County Court says Searle was “shocked” and claims he was just driving his car. He is being held on $200,000 bail, and his charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in jail.


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