Widener University student attacked while walking dog; suspect sought

Friday, December 15, 2023
Widener University student attacked while walking dog; suspect sought
Widener University student attacked while walking dog; suspect sought

CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Widener University was under a lockdown for an hour and a half early Friday morning after a 21-year-old student was attacked while out walking her dog.

"Looks like an argument over two individuals walking their dogs," said Commissioner Steven Gretsky of Chester Police.

Chester police say the incident began at 12:30 a.m. when a Widener student who lives off-campus was walking her dog at 18th and Chestnut streets.

That student, and another person who was also walking their dog, got into a verbal argument that escalated into an assault with a small knife.

"The victim is outside with her dog. This individual walks up with his dog, words are exchanged, and that's when he lunges and cuts the victim," said Gretsky.

The student told police the attacker threw something at her dog before coming at her with a knife.

The suspect then took off through a campus parking lot and got away.

"We saw police cars and ambulances go by and we were wondering what was happening, then we got the email that campus was locked down," said Cheyenne Miller, a graduate student at Widener.

The student was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and treated for a slash to the neck and was later released.

The dog was unharmed.

Campus Safety immediately alerted the university community of the incident and put the Chester campus on lockdown for roughly 90 minutes.

"They sent out the notification and I was awake. I was studying and I was actually going to go over there to visit my friend to study with them, so I just stayed inside and told them, I let them know -- I'm not coming over," said sophomore Alyssa Gonzalez.

The lockdown was lifted at 2 a.m.

School authorities are sharing surveillance video with Chester police, who are taking the lead on this case as they search for the person responsible.

This comes as residence halls are closing Friday night for winter break.