AUSTIN (KXAN) - Students at Huston-Tillotson University are wary after campus safety officials issued a text and e-mail alert following the sexual assault of a young woman near campus early Saturday morning.
Campus spokesperson Linda Jackson said the alert is not meant to alarm students or faculty, but is considered part of protocol whenever the security of students in and around the 23-acre urban campus is at risk.
Austin police said around 1 a.m., a young woman was riding her bike on College Way, a short street east of campus, when she was approached by two men riding in a large, white, four-door pick-up truck.
Crime Prevention tips from Huston-Tillotson University Campus Safety:
• Be alert! - Walk in well lighted areas and NEVER walk alone.
• Be aware of your surroundings—know who's around you and what's going on.
• Don't let drugs or alcohol clouds your judgment.
• If you think you're being followed, change directions and look for open stores, restaurants
• Keep your distance when anyone in a car asks you for directions.
• Don't hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers
• Listen to your internal feelings and reactions. Trust your instincts. Be aware of situations in which you feel uncomfortable and take action immediately.
One of the men got out, grabbed the woman and pulled her into the back seat of the truck where she was sexually assaulted. She managed to escape and flagged down a patrol officer in the area of Interstate 35 and 12th Street, a police statement said.
Students read the alert spelling out the attack for the first time Monday afternoon.
"I'm going to tell most of my female friends about it and let them know to go (out) in packs, because you never know what can happen," freshman Gerald Watson said.
Back on campus, word of the attack had spread before the alert was issued. While it's not clear if the victim is an Huston-Tillotson student, one senior said she's forced to play it safe until police catch the culprits.
"I feel safe here, but I probably won't be going anywhere…considering I'm used to feeling like I can walk anywhere, anytime," said Jamenequa Ben, an accounting major.
Police are saying little about the progress of their investigation.
Here is a description of the two suspects:
- 6'0, 280 pounds, muscular build
- Short Hair, no facial fair
- Wearing diamond stud earrings in both ears Gold upper front teeth
- The suspect was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with an unknown design and/or print on the front, and oversized (saggy jeans) dark colored jeans.
The driver was described only as possibly a light skinned Hispanic Male.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the APD Sex Crimes Unit at 974-5095 or call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text to "Tip 103" + your message to C R I M E S. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest or charges being filed.
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