Police Search For Attacker

By: Venton Blandin Email
By: Venton Blandin Email
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January 29, 2007

"We had a highly unusual night last night. police responded to two different women that said someone had attempted to rape them" said Captain Chip Harding of the Charlottesville Police Department.

The first incident took place a little after midnight when a 21-year-old University of Virginia student was heading home in the 12-hundred block of Wertland street.

"As she approached her apartment, she said she noticed a noise behind her, and turned around and saw a white man with a blue-hooded sweatshirt, and light colored pants" said Harding.

Police say the student did not think much of it because the man was acting normal. Everything changed when she got to the door of her own apartment.

"He attacked her, grabbed her around the waist, and fell into the apartment with her. he held onto her with one arm, and ran his arm up her skirt with the other" said Harding.

The woman's roommate along with her boyfriend were both inside, heard what was going on, and apparently scared the attacker away.

Hours later, police get a call, from another UVa student who says she too was attacked.

"She said that she was on the downtown mall, and decided to walk home around the time that the bars closed" said Harding.

In the second case, the 28-year-old walked past the mellow mushroom restaurant, and met a man who offered her a ride.

She accepted and the two walked to where a car was supposed to be parked, that's when police say the woman began to sense something was wrong.

"He held onto her with one hand as he unzipped his pants, and unzipped her pants, tussling trying to get her belt off to get her pants down" said Harding.

Police say they're fairly certain these two crimes were committed by the same man, but acknowledge there is a chance there is more than one suspect.

They describe him as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s, with short dark hair, weighing about 175-pounds and measuring between 5-feet 10-inches and 6-feet tall.

If you have any information you are asked to call crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

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