A 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College student was the victim of an attempted rape in Isla Vista early Wednesday morning, according to police.

The student was walking near the corner of Camino Pescadero and Picasso around 12:15 a.m. when an unknown suspect “emerged from the bushes” and began to punch her in the face and head,” Kelly Hoover, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) spokesperson, said.

The suspect – described as a 5’9” dark-skinned male in his 20s who was wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants – then covered the victim’s mouth and forced her into the bushes before attempting to pull off her shirt.

She was able to escape and run to her residence, Hoover said.

Isla Vista Foot Patrol and UC Santa Barbara police officers searched the area after the victim’s friend called 911 but did not find the suspect.

There is a “strong likelihood” that the victim would have been sexually assaulted if she had not been able to get away, according to Hoover.

Police are currently investigating this case. Anyone with information regarding this incident can call 805-681-4150 or leave an anonymous tip here.

Individuals in the UCSB and I.V. area who do not want to walk alone at night can call the UCSB Community Service Organization (CSO) Safety Escort Program at (805) 893-2000 to request a CSO escort.

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