Woman fights off attacker at U of C

February 17, 2009 9:48:00 AM PST
An alert was issued by police after a woman walking on the University of Chicago campus was attacked over night. The suspect grabbed the victim from behind in the 1100-block of East 59th Street around 9:20 p.m. on Monday, February 16. He pushed her to the ground and tried to remove her pants, according to the University of Chicago Police Department.

The woman fought him off and ran to a UCPD emergency phone. She saw a passing squad car and informed the officer of the attack.

"It's a little scary. I actually walk up and down 59th every night coming to and from work. It's a little frightening," said Shannon Carter, Univ. of Chicago employee.

The offender is described as a male, white or Hispanic, 6-foot, bushy hair, and wearing dark clothes.

"It is kind of scary. It's usually burglaries. It's not really attempted rape," said Karen Kim, Univ. of Chicago Student.

"I'm pretty careful. I am in the chemistry department. One of my friends was shot last year and died. I'm a little bit aware of it anyway." said Bridget Alligood, Univ. of Chicago student.

In 2007, 29-year-old Amadou Cisse was shot and killed while walking home campus.

Officials are warning Hyde Park residents to be cautious.

"I feel like I try to always walk when there are people around and I always see University of Chicago police around. So I do still feel safe, but I do really -- I am aware that there are people around who are willing to hurt me," said Carter.

Campus police released these safety tips:

  • Avoid isolated bus or train stops, especially at times when few other people are around.
  • If a person confronts you and demands your money or possessions, give what is demanded and create a safe distance.