The Department of Public Safety is offering $500 rewards for anyone with information regarding a recent sexual assault near campus and an aggravated assault that occurred last month.
In a crime alert update sent to students, faculty and staff yesterday afternoon, DPS wrote that it will provide $500 to anyone who has “information that leads to an arrest” in the sexual assault incident that occurred early Saturday morning.
A female student was assaulted at about 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 12 by four males between the ages of 18 and 24. The original crime alert from March 12 states that the student was walking by herself north of the South Forest Parking Structure located at 616 South Forest Ave. The assault occurred in the corridor between the structure and the South University Galleria Shopping Center, which is located at 1214 South University Ave., according to a March 15 update on the DPS website.
The assailants pushed the victim to the ground before one of them proceeded to sexually assault her, according to the crime alert issued on Sunday. Video footage from surrounding businesses’ surveillance cameras are being reviewed, according to the DPS website. The Michigan State Police Crime Lab will examine any evidence in the case, the website states.
DPS also announced yesterday that it is offering a $500 reward for anyone who has knowledge of an aggravated assault on Feb. 27, according to the DPS website. The incident involved two people who were hit with pellets ejected from a blue, four-door vehicle driving by. The pedestrians were coming from the Michigan Union and were walking across South State Street at about 1 a.m. when the incident occurred, the website states.
There were no serious injuries, according to the DPS website. No crime alert was issued for the incident.
DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said yesterday that there is “no indication” that the two crimes are connected.
The reward for the crime in which two people were hit with pellets comes three weeks after the incident because DPS was “spending a lot of hours dealing with other cases,” Brown said.
Rewards are being offered for information pertaining to these cases because they were crimes against people, which are more dangerous than crimes like larceny, Brown said. She added that the rewards are being offered because DPS believes there are people who have more information about the incidents.
Brown said rewards are typically offered based on the “investigator’s instinct that there are people out there with additional information” who would respond if there is a monetary incentive. DPS has offered rewards in the past, but it isn’t a common procedure because many cases the department encounters already have suspects or it’s the type of crime in which the perpetrator is not typically found, she added.
The last time DPS offered a reward for a crime was on Oct. 31, 2009, when the department offered $250 for information leading to an arrest after a man was assaulted by up to 10 men while he was driving on Elm Street, according to the DPS archives.
The incident occurred during the annual Elm Street block party on Halloween. A man attempting to drive down the crowded street was dragged from his vehicle and beaten to the point that he needed treatment from a hospital.
According to the DPS archives, a $1,000 reward was also offered for information leading to the arrest of the person involved with the arson at West Quad Residence Hall on March 26, 2009. The arson was later linked to then-LSA senior Timothy Burke, who said his target was former Michigan football player Justin Feagin because a drug deal they planned fell through.
Members of the Ann Arbor Police Department with information on the recent cases were unable to be reached last night.
People with any information regarding either of the recent crimes can contact DPS at 734-763-1131 or the University’s anonymous tip line at 800-863-1355.