Police are investigating a rape reported near campus, an Ann Arbor Police Department official said.
An 18-year-old University student told police on Monday that she had been raped at knifepoint last week. She said the incident occurred on Feb. 28 at about 5 p.m. on a Mary Street sidewalk.
The student went to the University Hospital for treatment on Monday, which is when police became involved.
She told police that she was scared to come forward at first, but when friends returned from Spring Break they persuaded her to seek help.
The student said she was walking home to a University residence hall from the Intramural Sports Building when a man she didn’t know pushed her to the ground, AAPD Sgt. Jeff Connelly said.
She told police that the man held a knife to her throat, pulled down her pants and raped her.
The student told police that when the man moved the knife away and reached behind his back, she kicked him. She said she was then able to get up and run to safety.
The student had bruises and scratches on her arms on Monday, Connelly said.
The student described the attacker as a middle-aged white man around 6 feet tall with a medium build and missing teeth. She said he had graying brown hair, facial hair and a “dirty” appearance.
There are no known witnesses, and police haven’t identified any suspects, Connelly said.
The Department of Public Safety issued a campus-wide crime alert last night that included a description of the suspect.
The alert was issued because the suspect is still at large, DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said.
In the past three years, DPS has issued four crime alerts for attempted rapes on University property perpetrated by people the victim didn’t know, Brown said.
In all four cases the victims were able to escape before full rape occurred, she said.
Brown said she couldn’t remember an on-campus rape reported in which the victim didn’t know the attacker being reported to DPS in seven years.
Both Brown and Connelly called such cases rare.
Connelly said that there have been three reported rapes in which the parties didn’t know each other in Ann Arbor during the five years he has worked in the police department. One victim was a University student, Connelly said.
“The vast majority of cases where sexual assaults are alleged involve people who are known to the victim,” he said.
Ann Arbor police are asking anyone with information to call the tip line at 734-996-3199.