A student was assaulted on her front porch last weekend by a man in a ski mask.
The student arrived home in the 500 block of Institute Place in a taxi from a downtown bar and was on her front porch when the suspect approached her from behind and lifted up her skirt, according to police reports.
When the student turned around the suspect ran away. She said he was a thin white male in his 30s with dark hair and dark clothing. She said she did not see his face.
Officers questioned the taxi driver who said he saw a gray pick up truck following the cab when he picked up the student.
The driver asked the student if she was being followed, and she said she wasn’t aware that she was. The driver also said he saw the truck park down the street when he dropped the student off. Officers searched the area but with no results.
University Police Chief Dave Baer said in situations such as this one, the perpetrator is usually someone who has been waiting for the right opportunity.
“It can be a friend who has expressed an interest in you earlier [that night] but who you say no to,” he said. “Then that friend sees you drink more and follows you home. Or it could be someone who is a stranger and has just been watching you.”
Baer said in this instance, he thinks the suspect was most likely someone the victim had met earlier that night.
“Someone probably tried to pick her up at the bar and she resisted,” he said. “He then followed her home and accosted her in a playful yet aggressive way and her reaction spooked him. The driver reinforced the idea that the suspect followed them.”
Baer said groups should keep an eye on each other.
“Within a group, if a person has drank too much, someone should make sure they get home safely,” he said. “The group should look out for each other.”
He emphasized communication among friends.
“Call roommates to let them know you’re coming home before you leave, so they know to expect you,” Baer said. “People text about everything. They should do it for safety. The well-being of your friends is paramount.”