WSU Workshop taught ways to be proactive in a violent situation

PULLMAN, WA - In the wake of the David Warner assault, a Washington State University graduate student organized a violence prevention workshop to educate her peers about how to respond in high risk situations.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin tells us what the university and police are encouraging students to do in order to reduce violence in the community.

Like many of her peers, Washington State University graduate student Rebekah Torcasso was saddened by the news of the David Warner assault.

"My first reaction was a very personal one, to know that this has happened to someone that I know who's such a great guy," said Torcasso.

But unlike most college students, Torcasso has experience in coping with violence on college campuses. She was an undergrad at Virginia Tech when the tragic shootings took place on the campus there.

"That was a very and intimidating thing to live through," said Torcasso. "It was also a situation that no one is prepared for when they come to college."

With that in mind, Torcasso organized a workshop to encourage students to find ways to break up a violent situation.

"If we want to see these numbers go down, we all have to be proactive," said WSU Violence Prevention Coordinator Nikki Finnestead.

Members of the Pullman Police Department explained that it's important to call the cops if a violent act might occur, and to come forward as a witness if they see something happen.

"Be our eyes and ears, to call us," said College Hill Officer Ruben Harris.

PPD hopes to decrease the amount of assaults through the security cameras that were installed around the Adams Mall in February.

"Those are the cameras that did capture the footage that we've been releasing in the David Warner assault case," said Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins.

The Pullman Police Department received a grant to install the cameras because more than half of the disorderly, dispute and assault calls in Pullman come from the College Hill area. Many of them happen right here, near the Adams Mall."

"The great majority of these types of incidents that we're responding to, where somebody ends up getting assaulted or injured, the great majority involves alcohol," said Jenkins.

Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said that it's important for WSU students to look out for their fellow Cougs.

"If you have a group of people that are going to go out and have fun for the evening, have somebody that's designated to be that designated person that's not going to consume alcohol and can watch out for the other friends and help make better decisions," said Jenkins.

David Warner is still at a rehab facility in Post Falls, and according to updates from his friends and family, he is progressing in his recovery.