Prowler arrested near SOU

Police arrested a 40-year-old Southern Oregon University student on Friday night after he was seen looking in a bedroom window near the university.

The man, Troy Fretwell, could be responsible for the string of prowler reports police have received in the last month, said Lt. Corey Falls with the Ashland Police Department.

Officers have been searching for a man they say has been looking in women's bedroom windows at night in the area of Lincoln and Garfield streets.

Fretwell was booked at the Jackson County jail on two charges of criminal trespassing and one charge of attempting to invade personal privacy. His bail is set at $5,000. The case has been referred to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

In addition to being an SOU student, Fretwell works part-time as a Web designer for Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc., which is based in Medford.

At 10:15 p.m. on Friday, an Ashland resident said he saw Fretwell walk through his yard to his neighbor's yard, where Fretwell stepped onto the patio and peered through the bedroom window, according to the police report.

The witness told police he asked Fretwell if he could help him, and Fretwell ran away. The witness chased after Fretwell while calling 9-1-1 and was able to detain him until police arrived, Falls said.

Detectives aren't sure if Fretwell is the prowler suspect they have been looking for, but there are similarities between Friday's incident and several of the previously reported prowler cases, Falls said.

Also, the composite drawing the department released of the prowler looks somewhat like Fretwell, Falls said.

"There's similar traits and characteristics with the composite so it might be the same guy," he said. "There's some similarities in the physical description."

Police described the prowler suspect as 18 to 30 years old, white and 5-feet-6-inches to 6-feet tall, with a medium build, brown hair and a freckled complexion.

It's also possible that more than one person has been prowling around the area in recent months, so police are still being vigilant, Falls said.

According to SOREDI's Web site, Fretwell moved to Ashland in 2007 after receiving an associate's degree in business from Salt Lake Community College. He is majoring in business administration at SOU.

Fretwell started as an intern at SOREDI and was later hired part-time, said Ron Fox, SOREDI's executive director.

Company officials are trying to find out more details on Fretwell's arrest before they take any action, he said.

"What were doing is just trying to gather more information," Fox said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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