UT students call for change as SafeHorns releases list of 50 habitual offenders near campus

A nonprofit committed to the safety of University of Texas students has compiled a list of 50 habitual offenders in the University corridor. 

They include those who’ve been charged with making terroristic threats, aggravated robbery, along with registered sex offenders. UT students said they’re the reason for feeling unsafe on their own campus.

"The creeps come out at night," UT student Alexa Pena said.

Using the crime log from UTPD and data from Austin PD, SafeHorns compiled the list of 50 habitual offenders around the University of Texas, specifically West Campus.

"They know students are afraid of them, they know students will give them things, and what’s sad is the kindness and empathy these students have for these individuals is really taken advantage of," SafeHorns President Joell McNew said.

Some of the people on the list have more than 10 charges.

"We know that these offenses have been dismissed, there’s been no accountability," McNew said. "If they are arrested, many times they are back on the streets the very next day, if not that same day."

UT students Kennedy Current and Pena said they don’t feel safe walking around campus.

"I’m feeling like scared, I’m feeling like someone’s following me, I’m looking around. I’m very self-aware, and I’m self-aware for a reason, I’m a young girl, and I’m in college," Pena said.


"It’s really concerning as a girl, and you hear a lot of stories about terrible things happen, so I always make sure I have a friend with me or pepper spray," Current said.

The President of SafeHorns said something needs to change.

"Many of the habitual, known offenders in our area causing the crime have been offered resources and help, and have refused it, so then what happens?" McNew asked.

She said the University of Texas and the City of Austin need to work together to keep students safe.

"Are they waiting for them to be seriously injured or someone to be murdered, so they can be reactionary and act like they care and then once again it goes back to the status quo of the lawlessness in our community," McNew said.

Students said they want it cleaned up.

"Maybe just making it a safer area immediately where we know a bunch of young college girls and guys walking around especially late at night would definitely give me some peace of mind," Current said.

"I think we just need to get everyone off the street. Honestly, it’s just become a big problem," Pena said.

Safety reminders:

  • Try not to walk alone, especially at night
  • If a UT student, use the UT SAFE App
  • If in danger, call 911

Students said it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, they will get approached, and they hope they don’t become the next victim.

The most recent incident reported by UTPD happened Wednesday. UTPD said three UT affiliated victims were walking near 24th and Guadalupe Street when a man with a knife went up to them and demanded money. The victims were not harmed and were able to get away.