The Cal State Northridge chief of police on Wednesday urged students not to walk alone as authorities continued their search for a man who tried to kidnap and threatened to kill a student as she was walking away from campus the day before.
The kidnapping attempt occurred Tuesday afternoon on Dearborn Street, about a block west of campus, police Chief Anne Glavin said during a news conference Wednesday.
The student was walking away from campus, toward Reseda Boulevard, when a man came up from behind and grabbed her in a “bear hug,” Glavin said.
The attacker threatened to kill the student if she did not stop screaming and resisting, Glavin said.
"She continued to fight and struggle, was able to get herself released from his grip and she came running directly here to the CSUN Police Department to report this incident," Glavin said.
"I think it's very brazen," Glavin said of the attack as she urged other students to take advantage of the school’s escort service.
"We don't want our students to walk alone ... there's safety in numbers," Glavin said.
Police have increased patrols in the area to help keep the campus safe, Glavin said.
Some female students said they are on edge following recent incidents near campus, which include a shooting that happened Sunday at an apartment complez across the street.
"Things have been going on lately that are really scary," Alexa Istrate, a CSUN student, told KTLA. "I feel like it's so easy to just walk in here and we wouldn't even know."
Investigators were looking at surveillance video from the school’s Oviatt Library, where the victim thinks she saw her attacker Monday, but Glavin said the student wasn’t “absolutely sure about that.”
Police were also searching building near the campus for any additional surveillance video.
A sketch of the attacker released Tuesday prompted several sightings matching the man's description, but none have led to an arrest so far, Glavin said.
The suspect was described as being between 25 and 30 years old, 6 feet 5 inches tall with dark hair. He was seen wearing a black shirt with an unknown red logo and blue jeans, officials said. Campus police believe he may have a named tattooed on his right arm.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect can call CSUN Police dispatch at 818-677-2111.