A woman escaped an attempted sexual assault on campus Wednesday night, but the two suspects remain at large.
At approximately 7 p.m., two men, a Caucasian and an African-American, accosted the victim, a 24-year-old UCSB student, with foul language as she walked past the west side of South Hall. The assailants grabbed hold of her by her backpack and attempted to pull her into nearby bushes.
She struggled and was able to pull away from the two men uninjured. The two men left the area.
After unsuccessfully attempting to use a police button on a pay phone, the victim called friends who were not home and finally received help from a professor who escorted her to the police station.
Police were unable to receive an accurate description of the suspects. Officers had trouble understanding the victim, who had difficulty with the language and was upset, UCPD Sgt. Mark Vellekamp said.
“The victim gave a pretty vague description of the males,” he said, “but she did say that she would be able to describe one of the suspects if seen again.”
This was the first isolated incident of attack since this quarter began, Vellekamp said. Last year, there were five forcible sex offenses at UCSB and 25 throughout the county.
Vellekamp is asking for anyone who was walking around the Bus Loop or South Hall on Wednesday night and saw something suspicious to call him at 893-2587. The suspect saw other people near her while she was being attacked, but received no assistance.
“There were subjects passing by, but no one stopped to help her,” he said. “The subject felt that they didn’t know what was going on, plus, it was dark.”
Currently, there are no suspects, though the police are working with the victim to develop sketches.
To avoid attacks, Vellekamp suggests students call the Community Service Organization (CSO) for an escort, walk with their friends and avoid walking in dark areas.
– Sarah Healy