Update at 5:05 p.m., July 21: The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security has deleted an inaccurate tweet about a person of interest for a string of downtown Ann Arbor assaults being in custody.
Bonnie Theil, Ann Arbor Police Department detective bureau lieutenant, told The Michigan Daily in an email Wednesday afternoon that AAPD had someone in custody on “an unrelated incident” Monday evening.
“We are not ruling anyone out at this point,” Theil wrote. “We are not comfortable reporting that this individual is or isn’t a suspect currently as this is an ongoing investigation and we have much more to do.”
Melissa Overton, DPSS public information officer, confirmed the inaccuracy of the tweet to The Daily.
The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security wrote in a since-deleted tweet Tuesday that the Ann Arbor Police Department had a person of interest in custody regarding a string of three presumably related assaults in downtown Ann Arbor from July 16-18. The man was taken into custody by AAPD on Monday night near Washtenaw Avenue and Huron Parkway and was questioned, the tweet said.
On the night of July 16 and morning of July 17, two separate women were assaulted. The first instance occurred at 10 p.m. on July 16, and the second occurred at 4 a.m. on July 17. The first victim was walking alone in Nickels Arcade near State Street and Maynard Street when she was approached. The suspect punched the woman and told her to be quiet. The victim proceeded to kick the suspect in the groin and began screaming, prompting the suspect to flee the scene on foot.
The second victim was walking alone near Catherine Street and Division Street, where the suspect reportedly jumped out from a driveway and attacked her. The suspect punched the victim in the face and grabbed her throat, telling her to be quiet. The victim kicked the suspect, enabling her to eventually run away to safety.
The third incident occurred on July 18 around 11 p.m. A woman was walking alone near W. Huron Street and Ashley Street when the suspect forced her into a portable bathroom stall and assaulted her. The woman fought the suspect off, escaping the stall and calling out to friends for help. The suspect ran away on foot.
The suspect is believed to be a male in his early 20s and around six feet tall. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt with the hood up during the incidents.
DPSS has advised U-M students and Ann Arbor residents to exhibit caution when walking alone at night time by being aware of their surroundings. They have recommended walking with a co-worker or friend in well lit areas, as well as avoiding isolated areas.
Any information regarding the incident can be reported to DPSS at (734)-763-1131, or to the AAPD Tip Line at (734)-794-6939.
Summer Managing News Editor Christian Juliano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Managing News Editor Shannon Stocking contributed reporting.