Woman reports campus assault

The crime alert that came afterward is the second University police sent last week.

Elizabeth Cook

A daytime on-campus assault has left some students concerned about how safe the University area is.

According to the alert, around 3 p.m. Wednesday, a man approached a student in Kolthoff Hall and asked where a specific room was.

She began to lead the man to the room, but once inside a stairwell, the suspect grabbed her arm and forced the stairwell door shut, according to the alert.

The student began screaming and trying to get the door open.

University Police Chief Greg Hestness said that as the student was screaming, someone else walked into the stairwell, and the suspect ran away.

Hestness sent an alert to the University community Friday.

This was the second crime-related alert sent out last week.

Hestness said the reason the alert was sent Friday while the incident occurred Wednesday was that information was still being gathered Thursday.

The time of the incident is what surprised first-year management information systems student Sean Dulin.

“(It was) daylight still,” he said, “(which is) kind of odd.”

Hestness said he found out about the incident on Thursday and started relaying the information to University administration the same day.

The incident report itself got into the system on Friday and that’s when the rest of the information was added and the alert was sent, Hestness said.

Hestness said an alert was sent out for this incident because it is unusual.

“This one seemed like a demand for sex,” Hestness said.

The suspect was restraining her, Hestness said, but she was resisting.

As of Saturday night, Hestness said, officers had some ideas on who the suspect could be, but were still investigating.

According to the alert, the incident happened in Smith Hall, but that is where the student ran to and called police from.

First-year political science student Eric Brown said the time of the incident was shocking.

“I’ve always felt there’s enough people around for things like that not to happen,” he said.

Some students said they weren’t at all surprised.

Julie Horbul, a sophomore medical student, said she’s heard about a lot of similar things happening.

Horbul said she has had an incident on campus where she was chased to her car.

Horbul said she thinks the University campus is not safe and because of that always makes sure to be with a friend when walking around.

Sophomore medical student Amy Nelson said she’s also been chased and because of that always makes sure to have friends around her, especially at night.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, 35 to 45 years old, medium build with a brown beard.

At the time of the assault he was wearing a light maroon stocking cap and a dark jacket.

Anyone who knows anything about this incident is encouraged to call University police at (612) 624-2677.