Content warning: This article contains descriptions of violence against women.
Two separate incidents of assault against women occured in downtown Ann Arbor on the night of July 16 and early morning of July 17, according to a crime alert from the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS). Both women were walking alone, with the first instance occurring at 10 p.m. and the second at 4 a.m. The Ann Arbor Police Department is investigating and says the incidents may be related.
The first woman was approached while walking in Nickels Arcade, a covered shopping area between State Street and Maynard Street. The suspect reportedly punched the woman and told her to be quiet. She then kicked him in the groin and started screaming, causing the suspect to flee on foot, according to the alert.
The second woman, a U-M student, was walking near Catherine Street and Division Street when a suspect jumped out near a driveway where he was likely hiding. The suspect punched the victim in the face and then grabbed her throat, telling her to be quiet. The second victim also kicked the suspect and was able to run away.
The alert described the suspect as a six-foot-tall male in his early 20s, clean-shaven and wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up.
“Look assertive and be aware of your surroundings,” DPSS advised in the alert. “Trust your intuition. If a particular situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, choose an alternative.”
Residents were also advised to walk with a friend or co-worker in well-lit areas, avoid isolated areas and to look for a blue light emergency phone or call 911 from any phone if they feel threatened.
Any information regarding the incident can be reported to DPSS at (734)-763-1131 or the Ann Arbor Police Department Tip Line (734)-794-6939.
Summer News Editor Paige Hodder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.