2nd Loyola student groped on same block in 2 weeks

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The south side of Loyola Unversity's Lakeshore campus is considered the safe one by students, but that perception may change now that there have been three sexual attacks on the same block within the past year.

The latest incident took place Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. near a dorm in the 6300-block of North Winthrop Avenue. A female student was walking near Seattle Hall when she noticed two men leaning up against a fence. As the student walked past them, one of the men groped her. Students were alerted about the attack by a campus-wide email.

"It's definitely disheartening to wake up and see an email that someone was groped across the street from my apartment, not walk by myself," said Kathy Balnius, a Loyola student.

The timing of Sunday night's attack worries residence assistant Dhruv Patl. He said that every night, he and other RAs take turns walking the street to make sure students are safe.

"It pretty much falls under our community walk rotation. The fact that we missed it is something we regret," Patl said.

Another student was grabbed from behind by a man riding a bicycle in the same block almost two weeks ago. A student was also attacked in that block last November.

Loyola said its campus police officers patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week in marked and unmarked cars.

"I don't think they can have eyes everywhere, so they do what they can to keep safe," said Izabela Burns, a Loyola student.

Students said they can't just rely on police or campus emergency lights and they know need to take their own precautions.

"You always have to watch your back. You can't be ready to go out by yourself, especially as a girl. You have to make sure someone is with you," said Marrin Gillespie, another Loyola student.

So far, no one has been caught in both incidents this month. Loyola is hoping its extensive closed circuit video network may help.

The suspect in Sunday night's attack is described as a man, 20-25 years old, 6'1" and 150 pounds and wearing a red-striped tank top and cargo shorts. The second suspect is described as a man in his 20s, 5'10" and 200 pounds wearing a black shirt, black shorts and a black baseball cap.

Campus safety officials described the suspect in the September 7 incident as a man between the ages of 20 to 25, approximately 5'7," and 160 pounds. He is reported as having medium-length black hair and a black beard and was last seen wearing a black headband, t-shirt (color unknown), cargo shorts (color unknown), and a black and gray backpack. He was riding a light gray bike.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact Loyola security at 773-598-6039.

The university also plans to hold a campus-wide safety forum next week. Details of that forum will be shared with students later this week.
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