The UC Santa Barbara Police Department issued a timely warning to students on Saturday afternoon after a reported aggravated assault took place earlier in the day on the south trail of Phelps Road, between Reed Court and Ocean Walk Lane.

According to the warning, a female victim was on the trail around 11:30 a.m. when a male, described as “approximately 5’10” to 6’00” tall, with a ‘scraggly’ white beard, and wearing a black t-shirt,” approached her and said “come here.” 

The suspect then “grabbed the victim by her shoulders and punched her in the face,” according to the warning. The victim fled the trail and later reported the crime to the UC Santa Barbara Police Department (UCPD). 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for the suspect. 

Anyone with more information about the suspect can contact the department at (805) 681-4100 or submit an anonymous report here.

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