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UNC Student Assaulted on Campus; Police Search for Suspect, Offer Safety Tips

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CHAPEL HILL — UNC policeare lookingfor a man who they say attackeda female student early Sunday morning as she was walking on campus.

UNC police say the student was heading toward Grimes Residence Hall; the attack happened near Davis Library.

Police say a man wrestled the sophomore to the ground and tried to sexually assault her. She screamed and two friends she was walking with ran back and helped her fight off the man, who then ran away.

"The old adage that there's strength in numbers is certainly true," says Maj. Jeff McCracken of UNC Public Safety. "Luckily in this situation her friends were close enough to respond. That's why we encourage, often, as much as we can, that people don't walk alone on campus."

UNC police officer Lt. Angela Carmon teaches rape aggression defense, a course that goes against what many learned for years: be cooperative and do not fight your attacker.

She says noisemakers and mace or pepper spray with finger grips are a good defense. Also, Carmon says something as common as a doorstop placed on the inside of a dorm room can prevent someone from getting in.

"Know your own personal strength, because all of us have that intuition that is basically going to tell us that this is a time to fight or this is a time to comply. There are no set guidelines. There are no set rules," says Carmon.

UNC police officers say they hope Sunday's attack creates awareness.

"I'm a runner, so usually I carry pepper spray just because one of my friends was assaulted while running. I think it's always important to be cautious," says a UNC student.

If you have any information that may help police, call UNC Crimestoppers at942-7515. andMichelle Singer