Investigators looking for a suspect after IU Bloomington campus assault
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Authorities are investigating an assault that was reported on the IU Bloomington campus Monday night.
According to IU police, the assault occurred around 10:15 p.m. near the intersection of Jordan Ave. and 7th St. near the IU Bloomington Office of Admissions.
Police say a female student was waiting at a bus stop when someone approached her from behind and grabbed her. The female reportedly screamed and struck the attacker drawing attention of a someone nearby causing the attacker to run away.
“Police did a thorough search of the area, we do have some information that would lead us to open an investigation,” Lt. Kevin Lauerman said.
The IU Emergency Information system sent out alerts describing the suspect; those alerts can be read here. He has been described as a white male, tall, thin, in his early 20s and wearing a dark blue hat.
A handful of students say they were shocked to hear of the attack, as it took place in a “centralized” area where many students often are in the evening hours.
“So it’s kind of set in that it could have been any of us because it happened so close to where we live,” Mary Mazurek said.
IU Police Lt. Kevin Lauerman says the attack is unfortunate reminder that students need to practice certain safety procedures when walking the campus at night.
“Just be aware of their surroundings, I think it’s really important, I think also at night if they’re going to a bus stop or if they’re walking to one location or the other to always have somebody with them, and always allow their friends to know where they’re going,” he said.
Lauerman says in the case of the victim, the woman did all the “right things” by fighting her attacker, drawing attention to her situation, and immediately contacting the authorities. He also says the case also highlights the importance of contacting the authorities in types of situations where people may feel uncomfortable, or at risk of an attack.
“Even if it comes out that its silly later, I think you should always contact the police and let the police decide if it’s silly or not…most of the time it probably isn’t,” he said.
Investigators are asking any witnesses that may have seen anything relating to the attack come forward and contact IU Police.