Charlottesville Police Hunt for Sexual Assault Suspect

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Sunday October 15, 2007

Charlottesville Police are searching for a suspect in a sexual assault that happened Saturday night on Jefferson Park Avenue.

Police have no leads in the incident, which happened around 10:30 Saturday night, but they want to use the crime as a way to show women the dangers of walking alone after dark.

The story of the woman who was assaulted isn't all that uncommon. The 20 year old student was walking home from a party following the UVa. homecoming win over Connecticut, only to be stopped by a man she didn't know.

"He approaches her and tries to engage in conversation with her and she continues to try to walk when he grabs her and pushes her up against a fence and pulls her dress up," recounts Sgt. Randy Higgins with the Charlottesville Police.

With the days getting shorter it's tough for women, especially students on and around grounds, to keep from going out after dark. So police have come up with a few simple tips to help keep them safe.

- Always walk with a friend
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Carry some form of protection, like mace. That's what helped the student from Saturday night's attack to escape her assailant.

Sexual assault is now the third-most reported crime at UVa. and that's not a fact lost on students, many of whom are already heeding some of that advice.

"If possible, I try to walk with someone," says second-year Casey Eisenberg. "Otherwise I let someone know that I'm leaving and they're aware of where I am."

Police are still looking for the man who attacked the UVa. student over the weekend and they're asking for your help. They're searching for a black male, about 5' 10" who appears to be in his 20s. He's clean shaven and has short black hair. Police say he was last seen wearing a black shirt and jeans.

If you have any information, they want you to call CrimeStoppers at (434) 977-4000.

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