UMN student sexually assaulted near campus

The student was walking when a man tried to pull her into nearby bushes, authorities said.

A Minneapolis Police officer patrols Dinkytown on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

Jack Rodgers

A Minneapolis Police officer patrols Dinkytown on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

Mohamed Ibrahim

A University of Minnesota student was the victim of an attempted sexual assault and abduction in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood near campus this morning, authorities said.

The student was walking down the 600 block of 8th Street Southeast around 6 a.m. when a man wearing all black clothing groped her and tried to pull her into bushes nearby, according to a statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department. The student was able to escape the man and get to safety, but the man had fled the area before officers arrived.

“She is her own hero. We’re very sad that this happened but we’re ecstatic that it ended the way that it did because this is the best outcome for a tragic situation,” said MPD spokesperson John Elder in a Friday press conference. 

MPD is now working with the University of Minnesota Police Department to find the suspect, who was described by the student as 5 feet, 9 inches tall and smelling of cigarettes. Elder said police have been distributing flyers on the incident and sharing safety tips in the area throughout the day.

Elder said attacks in which the victim doesn’t know the attacker are rare.

“These are the things you pray that never happen,” Elder said at the press conference. “It’s a heavily patrolled area. It’s frustrating to do all of the steps and to take all of the measures that we take and have this happen.”

This is a breaking news report. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Madeline Deninger contributed to this report.