University student assaulted near Comstock Hall

The suspect was described as a white male between 35 and 40 years old.

Kaitlin Walker

A University of Minnesota student was assaulted Wednesday night near Comstock Hall while walking to her car.

The victim was on Delaware Street Southeast between Comstock Hall and the Weisman Art Museum around 7 p.m. when a male suspect gestured to her, according to a University police report.

The suspect said something to the victim that she could not understand before grabbing her from behind by her arm and neck, according to the report. But she broke free after swinging her arm at the suspect.

The suspect took off on foot and was last seen near East River Road. He was described as a white male between 35 and 40 years old with a medium build and a short, scruffy gray beard. He was wearing dark colored sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt.

The victim described him to police as dirty, unkempt and possibly on drugs, with large pupils and bloodshot watery eyes, according to the report.

Police ask students to be aware of their surroundings and to avoid talking on cellphones while walking alone or at night. University police Chief Greg Hestness said in this case, the victim did everything right.

âÄúShe was aware of her surroundings,âÄù Hestness said. âÄúI suppose she could have immediately walked away from him, but I donâÄôt think she saw it as threatening initially.âÄù

The victim called police that night from St. Paul to give a description of the suspect. However, she did not file a report with University police until the next day.

âÄúIt certainly would have been helpful if she had called then,âÄù Hestness said. âÄúWe could have had squads check the area immediately, and we often come up with somebody if we get the chance to get on it right away.âÄù

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the case to call University police.