A women wanted on a warrant out of Oklahoma tried to enter the Residence Halls and attempted to rob a student before she was eventually arrested at a nearby Walmart.
The woman, Talia Poafpbitty, 23, tried entering the Residence Halls without a student key card on Oct. 31, said Juan Maldanado, assistant director of Campus Safety and Security. Staff didn’t let the woman in because she was acting frantic and shoeless. The staff then contacted Maldonado to assist the woman.
“At that time we thought this woman was in trouble and needed our help,” Maldonado said.
When trying to track the woman down, Maldonado said that he received a call from an instructor in the Agriculture Building saying a student had been threatened with a knife by a woman that matched the one trying to get into the Residence Halls. The woman was later identified as Poafpbitty.
“The woman tried to take the student’s vehicle by knife point, the student stopped in the C Lot and got out of the vehicle, while taking her keys with her,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado said that once he determined the student was safe, he began a search for Poafpbitty on campus when a patrolling Laramie County Sheriff’s Officer was seen in his rearview mirror.
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. At that time I relayed the information I had to the officer, and we began to search for her. I started on the inside and went out, while the Sheriff’s officers went from the outside in,” Maldonado said.
In the meantime, Poafpbitty received a ride to Walmart by another LCCC student. Cheyenne Police officers responded to a shoplifting complaint with a suspect that matched Poafpbitty’s description. . Poafpbitty was taken into custody on suspicion of robbery and aggravated assault along with the warrant out of Oklahoma.
The campus alert system was not used to warn college students and employees about the on-campus incidents. Maldonado said the situation developed so quickly and smoothly that by the time he had a moment to notify LCCC administrators, the situation had been resolved. Maldonado added that he was the only Campus Safety officer on-duty at that time.
“In this instance, they were able to quickly contain and control the situation; it was a fluid process, working closely with the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office. Because of that – and to avoid raising any alarm unnecessarily – Maldonado made the recommendation that no lockdown was necessary at that time. He was working closely with appropriate personnel on campus during this; ultimately, the president is the only one who can officially make the call for a lockdown,” said Troy Rumpf, manager of strategic communications and marketing in the Public Relations department.