The University Record, October 15, 1996

DPS asks for help finding suspect in sexual assault case

Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers are looking for help from the University community in apprehending a suspect who stole $30 and then sexually assaulted a female student in the U-M's NC31 surface parking lot on Hubbard Rd. across from Bursley Residence Hall.

Officers say the suspect is a Black male, 5' 7"-5'10" in height and approximately 20-25 years of age. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket and black pants, and had his face covered with a blue cloth.

The incident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 5, says DPS Capt. James Smiley. The man forced the woman at gunpoint into her car, took the money from her wallet and sexually assaulted her before he fled on foot.

DPS has met with detectives in the Ann Arbor and Southfield police departments to compare similarities in this case and other cases in those jurisdictions. All the agencies involved will continue in this cooperative effort, says Robert Pifer, associate director of public safety and security.

In a separate incident, two men are in custody after allegedly entering a student's room and taking a watch and CDs. One of the men is charged with second degree criminal sexual conduct after reportedly touching the student's breast. (See story on page 6.)

Although the two incidents are unrelated, University Housing has been informing students about both incidents and reminding them to follow standard safety procedures. Housing personnel also are reviewing present policy and procedures for locking residence halls in the evenings.

"Currently all residence halls are locked between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.," says Alan Levy, director of public affairs for University Housing. "We are re-evaluating, at least in some halls, the times at which the exterior doors are to be locked."

"The University is committed to maintaining the safest possible environment in and around its properties and facilities, but inevitably, safety and security is everyone's responsibility," says Levy, who urges students to remember that they may affect everyone's safety by blocking open doors after hours.

Anyone who was in the area of Bursley Residence Hall near 8 a.m. Oct. 5 is urged to call DPS at 763-1131.


DPS offers personal safety tips:


Look assertive and be aware of your surroundings.


Be aware that your risk increases in secluded and isolated areas.


Walk with a trusted friend or co-worker when possible, or call one of the University's escort services, such as Safewalk or Northwalk.


Trust your intuition. If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, choose an alternative.


Keep your room locked and do notrop open outer doors in residence halls.


If you have a car, always leave the doors locked when the vehicle is parked or while driving.


Have your keys in hand before you reach your vehicle.


If you feel threatened on campus, look for a blue light emergency phone or call 9-1-1 from any phone. No coins are needed for 911 calls.