By Christopher Galvan
University Police are seeking help in locating a suspect who allegedly assaulted a student in the University Suite’s Vista Del Sol building at noon last Friday.
University Police say that the victim was allegedly attacked by a hooded man on the second floor of Vista Del Sol. However, the assailant quickly fled to a nearby parking lot and was not apprehended.
University Police describe the suspect as a skinny male who is possibly white, Asian, or Hispanic. The suspect was wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and jeans at the time of the alleged incident. There is no information currently available about the suspects potential age, height or hair-color.
“This is a very serious matter and we are giving this investigation our utmost attention,” said Acting University Police Chief Bruce Wilson in a press release. “The safety of our campus community is our top priority.”
Executive Director of University Housing Services Megan Stang says that University Police are looking for information to lead to an arrest and want students to be alert around campus.
“It is harder to spread awareness in the spring because communities get built and students are not hearing the safety messages like they do at the beginning of the year all over campus,” said Stang. “So we are trying to be diligent about sending those messages back out.”
Stang says that UHS works with University Police to patrol CPP housing communities. In addition to residential advisor rounds, campus housing communities have daily patrols from police officers and community service officers. In light of the alleged assault, Stang says that UHS and University Police are stepping up their patrolling efforts.
“Our staff and resident advisors do rounds throughout the buildings, as well as the CSOs that work with the police department that do rounds outside and sometimes inside our buildings,” said Stang. “Because of this incident, we added rounds to the duty rotations as well as made them earlier and extended them a little bit later.”
Stang said that one of the most vital aspects of UHS’s safety mechanism is student, faculty and staff awareness on and off-campus. Being alert and sharing information with University Police or RAs is the first step in preventing crime at university housing facilities. Stang said that resident advisors engage in “knock-and-talks” with students to encourage awareness and safety throughout the year.
“Those [knock-and-talks] can be in response to something like this [incident] and they also can be information sharing about what’s going on around campus,” said Stang. “We don’t want to scare people. We want people to be really aware. We work really hard to make this place home.”
Second-year hospitality management student Malia Silverman lives at the University Suites in Montaeas, and was surprised to hear of an alleged assault so close to home.
“I never would have expected this to occur, but unfortunately this is a college campus and it happens everywhere,” said Silverman.
Silverman said that while she thinks the campus is safe, campus security could make improvements.
“I believe it’s a completely safe place to live and I think campus safety is acceptable,” said Silverman. “It might be nice to install more security cameras. The only places where I can see active campus safety is in parking lots.”
Second-year apparel merchandising management student Taryn Foley also lives in the University Suites. She said that CPP’s campus security is adequate, but that it is important to stay aware and diligent wherever you are.
“No matter where you live, there is always a chance that something like this could happen,” said Foley. “Especially since most people walk around on their phones or listening to music, unaware of their surroundings.”
It is important to walk with a buddy at night and make sure that you are alert, said Foley.
“I have always been taught to be aware of my surroundings and the people around me,” said Foley. “So when walking alone I make sure to walk with confidence and not stare at my phone for too long. If I know I will be walking home in the dark, I try and walk with a friend.”
University Police ask students to take special precaution while locking exterior doors to buildings and to remain watchful. Suspicious activity or people can be reported to University Police at (909) 869-3070, and anonymous tips can be left at (909) 869-3399.
Jairo Pineda / The Poly Post
Vista Del Sol
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