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Marshall seeks man wanted in connection with following students

Michael Hankins

HUNTINGTON — A man accused of continuously harassing and stalking female students at Marshall University was again arrested Sunday after he was allegedly seen on video chasing a female student.

Michael David Hankins, 40, was jailed at 4:45 p.m. Sunday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with forgery and trespassing after being asked to leave. Bond was $20,000 cash-only.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court by Marshall University Police, officers were dispatched just before noon Sunday to Gibson Hall regarding a female that was being stalked in the 1800 block of Maple Avenue on Marshall’s campus.

As police searched for a suspect, Sgt. S. Ballou found Hankins, who matched the suspect description, in the area driving west in the 1700 block of 6th Avenue in Huntington.

Ballou attempted to stop the vehicle, but Hankins allegedly did not pull over until the 500 block of 13th Street in Huntington. The stalking victim was brought to the scene and identified Hankins as the offender.

Video surveillance taken from the area allegedly shows the defendant following the victim as she walked while he was in the same vehicle that was later pulled over.

Eventually, the video shows the defendant pulling into a Marshall parking lot off of Maple Avenue before exiting his vehicle and chasing the victim toward the Marshall University Commons Resident Hall Courtyard.

The female escaped by entering her home at Gibson Hall, at which point the defendant returned to his vehicle and fled the scene.

Magistrate court records show Hankins has been charged on at least a dozen occasions for drug charges, stalking and indecent exposure.

He was charged twice with stalking in 2013 and took a no contest plea in exchange for nine months of unsupervised probation. Indecent exposure charges filed against him in 2014 and 2018 were also dismissed.

He is listed as a registered sex offender on the U.S. Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Public Website.

Hankins is known to MUPD due to similar accusations brought against him early 2017 by other females on the Marshall campus. Trespassing charges in that case were later dismissed, according to magistrate court records.

On Jan. 10, 2017, an officer on patrol on campus witnessed Hankins following a female student on foot, Marshall Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Jim Terry said.

The officer told him to not return to campus.

On Jan. 27, 2016, a female student reported she was walking in the parking garage along 3rd Avenue and a man was following her in a vehicle, Terry said. The student said the man only drove past her when another vehicle pulled up behind his.

Terry said the student identified Hankins from a photo lineup.

Leah Payne, Marshall's director of communications, said the university alerted the campus community to Hankins’ prior stalking allegations and does everything it can to keep the students safe while on campus.

“Efforts to educate the university community about personal safety are part of a continuing conversation on campus including discussions in UNI 101 classes, digital signage with safety tips and opportunities to attend security courses,” she said.

While Hankins’ charge of trespassing is a misdemeanor, he faces a felony charge for forgery.

According to a criminal complaint, the registration on his vehicle showed a fraudulent expiration sticker from another vehicle. His registration had allegedly expired in June.

Hankins is currently housed at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.

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