"It was just really scary, really," said a student on campus. "I feel really sorry for the girl."
She's talking about what happened in the restroom at Agnes Arnold Hall on the University of Houston campus Tuesday night. According to a campus security alert, a student was in the restroom, washing her hands, when a man showed up behind her. She tried to scream and he covered her mouth. She kicked him and he took off.
The alert was unsettling for students, some of whom feel more police presence is necessary, while others believe it is difficult to guard against someone determined to attack you in the most private of locations.
"Even though they increase security on campus, and you know, they're trying their best to watch over us, occurrences like this, that just came out of nowhere," a student told Eyewitness News.
Student Bryn Sceroler said, "I never walk around alone at night, definitely not."
"This is an open case that our investigators are actively working on," UH Police Chief Ceaser Moore said. "Our police and security officers are on heightened alert for any similar activity."
The building is described by students as quiet at night, and so they are paying attention to the reminders from campus police -- remaining aware of their surroundings and walking in groups.
"Most of my friends try to avoid going by themselves to their car, particularly if they're going on the buses," said student Ruben Ramirez. "We always try to go in groups, or at least in pairs."
We have asked the university for more information about this crime, and we're waiting to hear from them.
The security alert described the man as a dark-skinned Middle Eastern male who appears to be in his early 20s. He is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs around 150 pounds. He had a trimmed beard and was wearing a blue hoodie and blue jeans. The man did not show a weapon.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact UH police at 713-743-3333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, the campus community is encouraged to report suspicious people or activity to the UHDPS by using the blue-light emergency phones in the parking lots and parking garage, by dialing 3-3333 from any campus phone, or by dialing 713-743-3333 on cell phones. (Dialing 911 directly should be reserved for emergency situations.)
Less than two weeks ago, a student was tackled by two robbers near the university's Athletic Alumni Center. Those robbers are still on the loose after attacking the student and stealing his wallet January 18. Campus police sent a security alert in that case as well. The alert reminded students to walk in groups and be cautious when approached by strangers.
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