University of Del. student attacked in dorm room

November 5, 2010 5:54:50 AM PDT
Police at the University of Delaware are investigating the sexual assault of a student in her dorm room. After working on leads and interviews, campus police have a person of interest and he is not a student.

The news of what happened early Halloween morning was spreading fast, leaving students like Mary Woodruff on edge.

"I have night classes so I do walk home at 9:30, it's so close by, it is scary," Woodruff said.

It happened early Sunday at the Rodney Residence Hall complex on Hillside Drive in Newark.

A female student told police that a strange man followed her into her dorm room.

He then touched her sexually before she was able to text message her resident assistant, who was able to get the man to leave.

The man tried to enter another residence hall, but was stopped by other resident assistants.

"It makes you feel a little bit insecure about the protection you have on campus but I definitely believe the security system they have in place is very effective," freshman John Cary said.

Blue emergency lights are spread across the campus as well as cameras, which also managed to capture an image of the suspect. As for his ability to get into the dorm so easy.

"In this particular case, there was a student who used his PDI card to access the building; the victim in the case did what we call tailgating, kind of find followed that student in, so she didn't use her card, and the suspect did the same thing, as well," Chief Patrick Ogden of the University Police said.

Chief Ogden says the best line of defense, and a lesson to all students, it's ok to be rude when someone you don't know is following behind you.

"All throughout your childhood, parents told you to hold doors, but when it comes to safety on the dorms, we want you to use your cards, go inside, and let the door close behind you," Ogden said.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, 5'5 to 5'8, with an average build and short brown hair. He was wearing a long-sleeve red shirt or sweater and blue jeans.

Police say they will soon be bringing the person of interest in for questioning.

Anyone with information should contact University Police at (302) 831-2222.


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