Suspect who allegedly attempted to kidnap a Pellissippi State st

Suspect who allegedly attempted to kidnap a Pellissippi State student arrested

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Sheriff's deputies gather at the Pellissippi State Hardin Valley campus. Sheriff's deputies gather at the Pellissippi State Hardin Valley campus.
Gregory Crenshaw (source: KCSO) Gregory Crenshaw (source: KCSO)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The suspect who allegedly attempted to kidnap a student at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday afternoon was arrested Friday morning.

According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Gregory Crenshaw, 19, is charged with aggravated kidnapping. Deputies say he was arrested without incident around midnight at the home he shares with his mother on Graves Street. He was released on $40,000 bond just after 7 a.m.

He was identified as a suspect from security camera footage inside a campus building that showed him before and after the incident.

Deputies say Crenshaw had changed his clothes, but a KCSO officer found the white shirt and gray shorts on campus that the victim said he was wearing.

Crenshaw was also a student at the school, but the victim said she did not know him.

KCSO says Crenshaw was out on bond for breaking into two West Knoxville houses in February. According to records, he pawned the items he stole from the houses.

Officials at the Pellissippi State Community College Hardin Valley campus say the attempted abduction happened at the Hardin Valley campus just before 4:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Knox County deputies say Crenshaw allegedly threatened a female student with a gun and attempted to drag her into the woods. 

6 News talked with prospective students and people living in the area about the alleged attack like Laurie hill who comes to run on the track by the pond often. It's right across the street from Pellissippi State Community College.

She has some concerns after hearing that a man allegedly tried to kidnap a young female student. Knox County Sheriff's investigators say the woman was walking around the track by the pond just before 4:00 p.m. when she was approached by the suspect.

He showed her a gun in his waistband and then grabbed her arm. 

"I think it's terrible and it weighs on women's minds and I think it was a strange time. I've never really worried much about it here because it's nice and open," said Hill of Knox County. 

Pellissippi State officials say the suspect then tried to drag her into the woods similar to this area. The student managed to get away and report the alleged attack to the college's security office.

Shortly after, they issued an alert through text message, email, and social media to faculty, staff, and students. 

"We're a very, very safe campus. Our crime rate is incredibly low. So I think this is just a one time incident," said Julia Wood, the college's spokeswoman.  

Prospective students walking onto campus Thursday say they're surprised about the incident. 

"I mean I think it's kind of crazy that anyone would do it in an open area anyways. Hopefully they will catch him," said Robert Barber, a prospective student. 

Others like Hill say they'll try not to think too much about it. 

"That's all I can do is just not worry about it or it takes that something that's very pleasurable, a freedom away from you," said Hill. 

The college tells 6 News that a little more than 2,000 students are signed up for the alert system out of around 10,000 students enrolled. That's about a fifth of the student population.

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