Penn students warned to watch out for sexual predators in University City

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Students at the University of Pennsylvania are being warned to watch out for a group of sexual predators, who attacked four women in roughly 90 minutes, last weekend.

Harrison Rhee of Huntington Beach Ca. said, "I am pretty surprised by it, it's pretty popular especially at that time."

The surprised Penn students say it is a stretch of sidewalks that includes two blocks of Spruce at University Avenue. It is well traveled day and evening and well-lit and subject to frequent Penn police patrols.

But Sunday evening in just 90 minutes, four women reported being indecently assaulted, groped by males walking past them.

Penn put out an email alert and Tuesday students shared their thoughts and strategies for navigating University City streets at night.

"Some streets are more populated by Penn Police than others. Spruce always have Penn Police biking through. I know woodland tends to be darker so I avoid that," said Irene Su of San Francisco, California

Student Sanika Puranik, also from San Francisco California said, "While it's scary I think I mostly just go around by myself. If I happen to be with someone I will walk them. I don't typically ask for an escort. I think there is a lot of Penn police around typically, I feel generally safe on Campus."

Many say they believe there is safety in numbers and tend to walk with others at night or call Uber.

One young woman says she is now careful about what she carries after a bad experience.

"I was walking to a party with a couple of girlfriends and we were stopped by someone on the street with like a mask on, he asked us to give over our wallets so I had to replace a couple credit cards, this was last year, my freshman year," said Stephanie Saxey of Salt Lake City.

Police believe there could be four attackers, and right now they only have vague descriptions of the suspects. They are going over surveillance video in hopes of getting a clearer picture.

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