Wingate police arrest man accused of peeping near university

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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WINGATE, N.C. - Wingate Police have arrested a peeping Tom suspect near the edge of the university's campus.

Police arrested Worthell Taylor, 53, early Sunday morning after a woman called 911 to report a man hiding underneath her bedroom window.

"She saw something move in her blinds outside, went to go look and that's when the subject ducked down below the sill," said Sgt. Saverio Montecalvo.

Police said the woman, who is a recent Wingate graduate, locked herself in the bathroom and called for help.

The neighborhood is full of Wingate students, alumni and faculty, and neighbors told Channel 9 they watched as police and deputies swarmed the area.

"I brought the dog out to use the bathroom and there were six deputies and a Wingate police officer," said Zach Wallace.

Police said they found Taylor, dressed in black, still lurking behind the woman's home and arrested him on peeping charges.

When reached by phone Monday, Taylor told Channel 9 the woman "stole his wallet" and he went to her home to get it. Police said at the time of his arrest, Taylor claimed the woman invited him there to meet her.

Students told Eyewitness News they were grateful for a quick arrest but were uneasy about the incident.

"I'm kind of a worried about that, especially since we didn't get an email or alert or anything like that letting us know something was going on," said Wingate student Courtney Black.

Wingate University officials said they recently installed street lights in the area, which is off campus, and did not send out an alert because campus was mostly deserted during the holiday weekend.

In a statement, Wingate Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment Services Rhett Brown said, "We understand that incidents like this can happen anywhere. We appreciate the Wingate Police Department's and Union County Sheriff's Office quick response in arresting an individual. The safety and security of our campus community is our foremost concern."