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Feroze Golwalla, a 42-year-old man who professes to be a Christian missionary to the Parsee people of Southeast Asia, was recognized near Bridges Hall on Sept. …
The sighting of a wanted cult leader at Minnesota State University Moorhead has prompted a campus alert for students and staff.
Feroze Golwalla, a 42-year-old man who professes to be a Christian missionary to the Parsee people of Southeast Asia, was recognized near Bridges Hall on Sept. 9, school officials said.
The campus security director has since released a school-wide notice with Golwalla’s photo and physical description. A lawyer for the university also sent a letter to Golwalla’s last known address in Texas, telling him he is no longer welcome at the school.
The latter precaution is an “extremely rare” step for the university to take, said Doug Hamilton, MSUM spokesman.
“He’s somebody that has demonstrated he’s not the kind of folks you want on campus,” Hamilton said.
Golwalla was enrolled at MSUM from 1986 to 1989, Hamilton said. During that time, he wrote letters in support of animal rights to The Forum and received publicity for protesting an iguana display in the biology department.
In the years following his time at MSUM, Golwalla, who carries a distinct appearance with a shaved head and no eyebrows, attended other schools, including Wheaton College in Illinois from 1999 to 2001.
During his time at Wheaton, Golwalla befriended students Carrie Andreson and Benjamin and Andrew Wolfe, twin brothers.
Andrew Wolfe said he lost nearly 3½ years of his life to Golwalla, including 10 months spent recovering from physical and emotional abuse. He and his family chronicled the ordeal on a Web site, www.ferozegolwalla.com.
Andreson said she escaped from the man after four tries. She hasn’t contributed to the Web site but said Friday she supports the account.
Prosecutors in Frederick County, Md., charged Golwalla in July 2003 with two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault and two counts of reckless endangerment, a court clerk said. The Wolfe brothers and Andreson are named as the victims in the crimes, the clerk said.
The warrant is still active, but prosecutors dropped the two felony assault charges in September 2003. A Frederick County prosecutor said Friday that the investigator who handled the case was out of the office and unavailable to explain the dropped charges.
An e-mail sent to an address listed for Golwalla was not returned for comment. A call to one of his most recent addresses, a Super 8 Motel in Burleson, Texas, was answered by a worker who said Golwalla left months ago.
Andrew Wolfe, now 26, married and living in California, said he was taken by Golwalla’s fervent spirituality, charisma and intellect. He said Golwalla doesn’t pose a threat to strangers.
“He’s not a danger to random people in the street,” Wolfe said. “His style is to woo people.”
MSUM officials have asked students to report any sightings of Golwalla. He hasn’t been spotted since Sept. 9, Hamilton said.
If he returns and approaches somebody, the best action to take is to confront him about his past and tell him you know who he is, Wolfe said.
“He’s very paranoid and very afraid,” Wolfe said. “He’ll run away.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Forster at (701) 241-5538