Guys Deserve Protection Too — Why Riley Strain’s Story Serves As A Warning

Friends should watch out for each other regardless of gender.

Riley Strain Metro Nashville Police Department / Canva Pro

In the wake of the disappearance of 22-year-old college student, Riley Strain, who vanished after he was kicked out of a Nashville bar, many people are asking themselves why the young man was left alone to wander the streets. 

While many women wouldn't even consider a trip to the bathroom alone, most men assume their friends will be just fine navigating their way home from a night out on their own. 


However, Riley Strain’s tragic story proves otherwise. 

Even men need protection when they go out to bars with their friends. 

From a young age, women are taught to cover their drinks when they go to bars, stay in groups, and never leave alone. Men, however, are not often taught the same lessons.

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According to a recent Gallup poll,  more than 50% of women in the U.S. have a fear of walking alone at night. In comparison, only 26% of men feel the same way.

While women may be at a much higher risk for assault than their male counterparts, walking home alone after a night out on the town is not without risks — for anyone. And Riley Strain's tragic disappearance is proof that men should be watching out for each other in the same ways women do.


Many people are coming to terms with this reality after the disappearance of 22-year-old University of Missouri student, Riley Strain. 

Strain was in Nashville, Tennessee with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers as part of their annual formal. On the evening of March 8, they decided to go to Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink restaurant and bar.

According to a statement shared with People from TC Restaurant Group, which oversees Bryan’s establishment, records showed that Strain was served one alcoholic beverage and two drinks of water while at the establishment. 

However, at 9:35 p.m., security kicked Strain out of the restaurant. “Our security team made a decision based on our conduct standards to escort him from the venue through our Broadway exit at the front of our building,” the statement read. 


It is currently unknown whether Strain was intoxicated before he arrived at Luke’s 32 Bridge. 

One of Strain’s friends accompanied him downstairs to the exit, but returned upstairs, leaving Strain outside alone. 

According to Strain’s stepfather, his friends informed the family that bouncers prevented them from leaving with Strain since they still had to pay their tab. 

However, the Nashville bar denied this claim. “No members of Riley’s party were required to stay inside the venue to close any open tabs, and no one from our team prevented anyone from Riley’s party from leaving the venue with him,” the bar told WZTV reporter Kelly Avellino.

After being kicked out of the bar, Strain was captured by surveillance cameras staggering through town. 




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He was last recorded on Gay Street at 9:52 PM and has not been heard from or seen since. 

There has been no activity on his phone, either. 


His bank card was found the Sunday after he disappeared “on the embankment between Gay St. and the Cumberland River,” according to a post on X from the Metro Nashville Police Department

Strain’s devastated family has participated in the search for the young man who has gained national attention. 


"We're looking for you. We are not leaving until we have you. We're going to be with you at graduation... and everything's going to be fine," his stepfather, Christopher Whiteid told People. "We're going to get you. We know you're out there." 

Strain’s story serves as a warning to young men, particularly those in college who assume that they will be fine when left alone after a few drinks at the bar. 

While they may not have the same safety concerns that women do, men are not immune from danger, especially in an unknown environment with alcohol in play. 

Whether Strain was intoxicated or not is irrelevant, however, when you consider had one friend walked out with him, he might not be the subject of national news. Just one friend had to follow after him — just one. 



Friends should be watching out for each other regardless of gender, and the misconception that only women need to be concerned when walking home alone at night needs to be remedied. 


Men deserve protection too, and Riley Strain's story is a testament to that.

A GoFundMe has been launched to support Strain’s family and cover their travel expenses to Nashville as they continue searching for him. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.