A female University student was assaulted while walking alone on the 800 block of East Washington Street near the Frieze Building around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. The student said an unidentified male jumped out at her from behind the bushes and forcibly fondled her, said Department of Public Safety Lt. Crystal James.
The victim was able to escape by pushing her assailant off of her. She broke free, fled the area and contacted DPS.
James said the suspect is described as a white male weighing about 150 pounds and 25 to 30 years of age. James said the suspect is between five-foot-ten and six feet tall and was identified as having dark, spiked hair. The victim described the suspect’s clothing as a dark blue or black puffy, waist-length jacket.
Tuesday’s attack is currently classified as a second-degree criminal assault, a felony that carries a maximum of 15 years in prison. DPS is investigating the case and has no suspects. Anyone with information should contact the DPS Confidential Tip Line at 1-800-863-1355.
The incident prompted DPS to release its third crime alert of this school year, informing the campus community of the incident and reminding students to take precautions while walking on campus. James said that students should take measures to reduce the risk of such assaults. Students should avoid walking alone in unsafe areas and should take advantage of DPS safety resources such as officer escorts and emergency phones offering a direct line to DPS, she added.
“We always advise students to look assertive and to be aware of their surroundings. It’s also important to try to walk with a friend. If you’re in an unsafe area, give us a call for an escort or try to get to a safer area,” James said.
This is the second crime alert issued in October regarding an attack on a student walking alone. A crime alert was issued on Oct. 5 after an attack on a female student who was pushed to the ground by an unknown assailant while walking near the 600 block of State Street. That crime is still under investigation, and there are no current suspects.