May 17, 2013
Charlottesville Police say a University of Virginia student was fondled late Thursday night near The Corner.
Police say the attack happened in the 300 block of 15th Street Northwest. They say a U.Va. student was walking home, when a man approached her from behind and fondled her.
"She screamed immediately," said Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Ronnie Roberts. "The suspect turned to flee."
The victim got a look at the man as he ran away toward The Corner. He is described as a black man, about six feet tall, with a heavy build and dark clothes.
Lane Stickley, a Fourth-Year at U.Va., has lived on 15th Street for a year and a half.
"I know almost everybody who lives on this street," Stickley said. "It is surprising."
She says she doesn't always feel safe here.
"I don't ever walk up and down the street at night by myself," Stickley said. "There are places where people could be potentially hiding. You couldn't see them."
The street is dotted with emergency call boxes, put in place by police and the university.
"We are surrounded by them," said Stickley. "You see the blue light from a mile away when you're walking around at night."
Thursday night's attack has some similarities with another one that happened less than a half mile away, near Wilson Hall, in January.
That victim was walking alone when a stranger approached from behind, fondled her, and ran away. Police are investigating whether the suspect could be the same person.
"The investigators will most likely get together to collaborate," said Roberts.
Roberts says he doesn't think the number of sexual attacks is going up, but more women are coming forward and reporting it, when they get attacked.
Anyone with information about the fondling case on 15th Street is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.