University Police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred between 1:45 a.m. and 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 30 in East Quad Residence Hall and released on Wednesday photographs from a video of an individual allegedly connected to the incident.

A female student said she was walking down a hallway in East Quad when an unknown man approached her from behind, according to Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown. Brown said the man raised the female student’s clothing and grabbed her buttocks but fled down a nearby stairwell after she turned around to confront him. The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s with wavy black hair, 5-foot 7-inches in height and weighing 170 pounds. He was reportedly wearing dark-colored clothing and carrying a backpack.

The student reported the case to DPS on Nov. 1 — two days after the incident occurred. Brown said the personal nature of the incident likely caused the student’s hesitation to report it, and DPS did not issue a crime alert due to the delay in the reporting.

“We didn’t perceive that by the time we had the information there still was a threat to the community’s safety,” Brown said. “But that did not stop us from investigating because we do want to hold this person accountable.”

After obtaining security footage, DPS officials conducted an investigation and internally shared pictures of the man believed to be connected with the sexual assault, Brown said. However, DPS could not identify the suspect and decided to share the evidence with the public.

“At this point we are releasing them more broadly so that perhaps members of our broader community might be able to assist in that identification,” Brown said.

Brown could not confirm whether police have received any tips since the pictures have been released. She added that no similar incidents have been reported to DPS since the student contacted the police.

Brown said the incident is “not at all” related to the string of sexual assaults that occurred throughout Ann Arbor last summer. AAPD Chief Barnett Jones also said the East Quad incident isn’t related to previous assaults.

Residents and employees of East Quad were upset about the 11-day period between the incident and the e-mail notifying them of the assault.

LSA freshman Melissa Freeland said the decision to postpone notification to residents was “ridiculous,” and students should have been given some type of warning immediately after the crime was reported.

“I think that this should be something they send an emergency alert about,” Freeland said. “East Quad has always seemed like such a safe place … (I am) a little more nervous now. (This is) something to be careful about.”

Freeland said she will begin taking additional safety precautions in the residence hall at night, like making an effort to stay with other students at all times.

University Housing officials organized a meeting in East Quad yesterday to provide students the opportunity to meet with Brown, DPS Lt. Bob Larry and representatives from the University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and Counseling and Psychological Services.

About 20 female students attended the meeting and addressed the lack of security on the residence hall’s first floor and DPS’s decision to delay notifying students of the incident.

Several students called for the installation of additional Mcard readers to secure doors within the building. Brown and Larry suggested that students keep curtains and windows closed and refrain from holding the building’s main doors open for people waiting to get inside.

Kelly Pearson, a graduate student in the School of Social Work and an East Quad resident advisor, said she plans to hold a meeting with University Housing security officers for her residents to attend.

“I’m living on the ground floor, (and) a few of my residents were at the meeting tonight and were concerned,” Pearson said. “I’m setting up (another) security meeting to ensure my residents feel safe.”

Brown said DPS currently stations Housing security officers in each residence hall to ensure a quick response should an incident arise. Officer protocol in the residence halls will not change in wake of the sexual assault, she added.

“Housing security will continue to do the things they’ve been doing well, (which is to) be able to build awareness of risk reduction techniques,” Brown said. “I’m sure the Housing security staff will be focused on providing that because that’s one of their significant functions.”

Engineering freshman Scott Wigler said he is satisfied with the security presence in East Quad, but thinks officers should spend more time in certain areas of the building.

“DPS walks around my hall a lot, but there’s never a DPS officer by the entrance (of the building), so I think they should increase that,” Wigler said.

—Daily staff reporter Adam Rubenfire contributed to this report

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