UVa Student Reports Alleged Abduction

February 18, 2013

An alleged abduction took place over the weekend at the University of Virginia, leading police to send out an email to students Monday morning.

Still, there is a lot of information police don't know because they haven't directly talked to the alleged victim.

After what was almost any other Saturday night on Rugby Road near grounds, one UVa. student reported she hailed what she thought was a cab, got inside, and told the driver where her apartment was.

"Instead of pulling over, the car continued in the direction of Observatory Hill and pulled over on the side of the road," UVa. Police Lt. Melissa Fielding said.

At that point, the alleged victim reported the driver tried to take advantage of the situation.

"The driver locked the doors and attempted to assault her," Fielding said.

The student was able to kick and fight off her alleged attacker.

The report went to police through an online system called Just Report It. It's a web-based system for students, faculty and staff generally used for bias-based incidents.

"In this particular case, she used it to report something that she didn't want to report to the police at that particular time," Fielding said.

The student reported the incident about 24 hours after it allegedly happened.

Police have never had any chance to speak with the alleged victim or verify the story she outlined in the post.

"We'd very much like to speak to her," Fielding said.

Still, the concern was enough for university police to send an email to students, warning them of the incident and asking anyone with information to come forward.

"While the Charlottesville community can seem like a safe community, I think sometimes that lends to a false sense of security that things can't happen," Fielding said.

Despite the email, some students say they still feel safe on grounds.

"I feel safe. I've never seen anything go wrong," first-year student Kevin McNerney said. "Obviously, something went wrong this weekend, but I've never personally seen anything like that."

Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

The student indicated in the message that she did not intend to press charges, but police say they won't know more until they actually speak to her.

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