Mustang Daily Staff Report
Three college-aged women were allegedly sexually assaulted on Feb. 2 and 3, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) press release.
According to the release, the first incident occurred at approximately 11 p.m. in the 1200 block of Foothill Boulevard on Feb. 2. Two women were walking together when they were approached by a male in a black sweatshirt and baseball hat. The suspect grabbed their pants and attempted to remove their underwear, the release said.
The second incident occurred in the 700 block of Foothill Boulevard at approximately 4:15 a.m. on Feb. 3. According to the report, a woman was waiting for a taxi when a white male pulled her into the bushes and forced his hand into her pants. The suspect fled the scene when the woman’s taxi approached, the release said.
None of the females involved were physically harmed, though they are traumatized, the report said.
In both cases the suspect was described as a white male, age 19 to 20, with a slender build. Police are not sure if the same suspect is responsible for both incidents, SLOPD Lieutenant John Bledsoe said.
“We don’t know for sure (if these are the same suspects),” Bledsoe said. “The descriptions are similar but every witness has their own perception.”
Bledsoe said the second incident’s victim described a suspect very similar to three previous assaults which occurred near Cal Poly early this past year. In March and April 2012, an unidentified male approached women on three separate occasions and attempted to remove their underwear. In all three cases, the suspect was not caught.
Bledsoe advised students to be careful when walking around San Luis Obispo at night.
“Walk in pairs,” he said. “I wouldn’t leave a location until you have your ride situation figured out. Have a Plan B.”
The Cal Poly University Police Department (UPD) is not yet involved in any sexual assault investigation, UPD Sergeant Robert Eckrote said, but Eckrote offered similar advice to students out at night.
“Walk in groups,” Eckrote said. “Let somebody know when you are leaving someplace so they are expecting you at their destination.”
Students should also avoid poor-lit pathways, or sidewalks lined with bushes, Eckrote said.
Safer coordinator Christina Kaviani said Safer had not yet received information on the alleged incidents, and couldn’t offer much advice on prevention outside of the normal.
“Since I don’t have the details on this, I’m not sure,” she said, “(but) something we talk a lot about with students is making sure you stay with the people you go to events with.”
Kaviani said one thing she would like to stress is to avoid “victim blaming.”
“We like to focus on putting the tips toward perpetrators, and the blame not on what the victim could have done,” she said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP.