Local News

Sexual assault reported near NCSU's Free Expression Tunnel

Posted April 25, 2013

— North Carolina State University police sent an alert to students early Thursday after a sexual assault was reported on the north side of the Free Expression Tunnel, in the central part of Main Campus. 

A female student reported the incident at about 4 a.m., saying a 20- to 25-year-old man approached her from behind, pushed her into the bushes and sexually assaulted her. Campus Police Chief Jack Moorman said no weapon was used in the incident.

The man was described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with short hair. He was wearing a black shirt with white writing and blue jeans and fled the area north on foot.

"I go through this tunnel at night all the time. I'm in the library till 3 (a.m.) sometimes, especially at this time of year with finals coming up," freshman Cat Crofton said. "Everyone is at the library late, and it's scary to think it could happen at this super-busy tunnel."

The graffiti-covered tunnel is a primary connector between two sections of the N.C. State campus, allowing students and others to go under railroad tracks that cut across campus.

"It’s really disappointing to hear that sort of thing when you first wake up," sophomore Carson Heck said.

Free expression tunnel Report of sexual assault puts NCSU students on edge

Freshman Dominique Spriggs said she views the attack as an isolated incident and doesn't plan to change her habits to avoid the tunnel.

"I think that was kind of a one-time thing. I mean, there are crazy people everywhere," Spriggs said.

Crofton said that she, for one, won't be walking alone near the tunnel after dark. "I’ll probably try to stick with people at night," she said.

Campus police said they are reviewing video from nearby security cameras to see if they can identify the attacker, and they are working on a composite image of the man.

Anyone with information is asked to contact N.C. State police at 919-515-3000. 

Authorities reminded students of the following safety tips:

  • Never walk alone at night
  • Always choose well lit pathways
  • Consider the using the Safety Escort Program, which runs from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly
  • Have 911 or 919-515-3000 pre-programmed into your phone
  • Report any suspicious activity or persons to Campus Police
  • Be aware of your surroundings, don't walk with headphones playing

"We encourage our students to take safety precautions," Moorman said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • btneast Apr 26, 2013

    I think your comment about "cable and the internet" are interesting when you consider why the country is so violent and evil.

    I think you missed his point. The reference to cable and internet was that crimes are more in our face 24/7 with umpteen cable news shows, web news services, news apps on smart phones. The saturation of news outlets makes it seem like crime is on the rise. Back in the day when there were only 3 networks and no internet, we never heard about many crimes....or it was a page 2 item in the newspaper.

  • rargos Apr 25, 2013

    "women need to be in groups any time they are out after dark"

    We NEED to put more effort into making our society safe enough for women to be able to walk alone anywhere, anytime. The politically-correct, anti-religion, anti-family agenda is making society less safe, not more safe.

    I lived in Japan and even in Tokyo you could walk alone (almost) anywhere, day or night, without fear of being assaulted.

    Rapists should get life in prison with hard labor ... and that's being generous.

  • PC is for Losers Apr 25, 2013

    What is up with these rapists? Throw a woman to the ground and actually get aroused to perform? I'll never understand that one. Man, I wish there was some way to identify these deviants when they aren't in the act of letting their mental deficiency run wild. Please let this scumbag get caught before he does this to someone else. Step it up NCSU, you've got to do more to protect these areas of campus...even in the middle of the night!

  • iamarmed Apr 25, 2013

    what was she doing out there alone at that time of the morning? women need to be in groups any time they are out after dark no a days..... i hope they catch that scumbag...you know before liberals took over everything rape use to be a capital crime....i think it needs to be again.....

  • Obamacare survives Apr 25, 2013

    Can someone please explain to me what an onion country is?

  • nclocalmusic Apr 25, 2013

    This is horrible! There are 3 benefit concerts this Saturday in Raleigh to promote awareness and safety via Interact. Hosted by NC Local Music. View the schedule at NCLocalMusic dot com.

    We have to stop this violence!

  • lrfarms27572 Apr 25, 2013

    and as a result you have a murder rate 4X that of other Western countries whilst other crimes are much the same.....what you fail to grasp is that your putative solution to the problem, guns, is the main reason for there being a problem in the first place. People do not "cower" in the rest of the Western world....indeed they have little need to do so because they don't allow there to be nearly so many guns sloshing around so that criminals and nuts get hold of them.

    Grand Union

    he we go again with the rhetoric and propaganda...was that you with the frown we saw to Obama's left the other day during his little temper tantrum speech about not getting way

  • lrfarms27572 Apr 25, 2013

    Has it? or is it merely your perception fueled by cable and the internet that has changed?

    Grand Union

    yes it has. Unlike you, many of us here have ancestors in this country, many from the surrounding areas, that can't remember a more violent, evil, and criminal populous.

    I think your comment about "cable and the internet" are interesting when you consider why the country is so violent and evil.

  • lrfarms27572 Apr 25, 2013

    Nope. I was merely correcting another post than claimed that the campus was a target for crime. I would think it likely its actually considerably less affected by crime than most of Raleigh.

    Grand Union

    Not making a snide remark this time I agree with you, the campus is relatively safe. Reiterating what I said earlier however, is that the area around the tunnel is more prone to criminal activity (than other areas on campus) due to its layout and surroundings.

  • yankee1 Apr 25, 2013

    As part of the orientation process students should be made aware of the dangers of going out at night. It is known that the tunnels and the surrounding area are prime places to be mugged or sexually attacked. This point needs to driven over and over again to the students... mistervegas

    If you are in college and haven't figured that little tidbit out all by yourself, maybe college is the wrong place for you. Perhaps a re-do at day care is in order!