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OSU Police identify, charge man in attempted kidnappings

Courtesy of OSU Police

Ohio State University Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with Wednesday’s abduction attempts at knifepoint near Cannon Drive, just south of the OSU Medical Center.

OSU Police confirmed to The Lantern that David Phillip Morris, 45, of Columbus, was charged late Thursday with one count of kidnapping and one count of attempted kidnapping.

Police charged Morris, who went by the alias Phillip D. Hall, Jr., after showing a photo line-up to the victims and witnesses of Wednesday’s incidents, said Richard Morman, deputy police chief for the OSU Police.

Morris was apprehended Wednesday at around 7 p.m. under the King Avenue bridge.

Columbus and OSU Police were searching near a homeless camp under the bridge by the Olentangy River when a man who fit the suspect’s description jumped into the river and attempted to swim away, Morman said.

Morris was apprehended by Columbus Police for inducing panic and swimming and wading in a river. He was held in the Franklin County Jail where he refused to be interviewed.

Police responded to two separate reports Wednesday of a man attempting to abduct single females.

Morman told The Lantern that police received a call shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday from a woman who said a man grabbed her around the waist and put a knife to her side near Medical Center Drive and Cannon Drive. The man told her, “You’re going with me,” but she escaped and dialed 911. He then ran away toward Cannon Drive.

The man ran toward a fenced-in parking lot housing construction equipment on Cannon Drive between Medical Center Drive and King Avenue, Morman said. There he ran up to a woman entering her car, grabbed her by the sweater and demanded that she take him with her. She ran away.

The suspect was last seen going south on Cannon Drive toward the Batelle campus on King Avenue before Columbus Police took the person of interest into custody later in the evening.

No injuries were reported.

Morris was described as a balding white male in his 30s or 40s wearing a pale yellow button-up shirt and light-colored shorts.

The Ohio State Department of Public Safety issued a Buckeye Alert at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday stating that police were searching for the suspect near Cannon Drive and King Avenue.

Columbus police did not immediately return requests for comment.

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