College student stalked for 4 years makes impassioned plea to carry a gun for self-defense

Dartmouth College won’t let a student carry a gun for protection, even though a 67-year-old stalker has been following her around for years.

Dartmouth junior Taylor Woolrich, 20, spoke Tuesday at the Students for Concealed Carry National Conference in Washington, D.C., to call attention to her plight, according to

In 2010, Woolrich was 16 years old and working at a San Diego café when a man named Richard Bennett began stalking her, she told the audience during her nine-minute speech. Bennett kept returning, ogling her for hours and “trying to flirt.” He would then sit outside the café for the rest of the day.

The following year, when Bennett tried to attack her boyfriend, Woolrich’s family got an emergency restraining order against him. But that didn’t keep him away.

After knocking on her parents’ door 18 months later, Bennett was jailed for violating the order.

“When he was arrested by the police, they found what they like to call a rape kit in the back of his car,” Woolrich said, according to “It consisted of a sweatshirt, firewood, maps of the area, duct tape, a rope tied into a slip noose, hunting knives and various other items.”

Bennett is serving his latest jail stint for violating the restraining order for a third time. He is due to appear in court on Aug. 12. Bennett, meanwhile, is denying the allegations.

“I am innocent as the day is long,” he told San Diego’s KGTV in a jailhouse interview.

Woolrich disagreed. In a article she co-wrote, she said Bennett has sent her a number of messages over the past year detailing his plans to go to Dartmouth to find her.

Taylor WoolrichPhoto Credit:

Still, Woolrich’s story has failed to sway college officials at Dartmouth, which forbids firearms on the New Hampshire campus, even with a permit.

“Weapons of any type, and corresponding supplies, are not allowed in any College building or in any student residence in Hanover,” the school’s policy states, according to its website.

Woolrich said campus security officials told her to call them and arrange for an escort if she feels unsafe.


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