Police Investigating After University of La Verne Student Reports Being Attacked in Dorm Staircase After Receiving Threats

An investigation is underway after a University of La Verne student reported being attacked in the staircase of a campus dorm building Tuesday afternoon, the La Verne Police Department said.

A person leaving a residence hall found a female student on the ground in a stairwell at around 2:40 p.m., police said.

The student reported that she had been physically assaulted by a man in a ski mask, according to a news release.

La Verne Fire Department Paramedics responded to the scene but the victim declined medical treatment. Her condition is unknown.

Police said the student had previously reported threats against her that are still under investigation.

Authorities did not provide details on the alleged threats but friends told KTLA that the victim and another student have been receiving emails that threatened to kill and rape them, and appeared to be racially motivated. Police have not confirmed those allegations.

La Verne Police Lt. Tom Frayeh said the incident was not being investigated as a hate crime and that no comments were made at the time of the incident that led officers to believe it was a hate-motivated attack.

The same victim had previously reported a smoldering backpack in her car on March 1, a day after school administrators were made aware of reported race-based threats via social media. The incident resulted in classes being cancelled but authorities have not determined whether it was related to the threats or that it was an arson incident, Frayeh said.

Authorities said the student had contacted police at least three other times regarding threats.

University officials said they were aware of reports of threats against students and that they are under investigation.

"This has been a matter that has been under investigation by La Verne Police and the FBI for some time, and La Verne Police did say last night that the victim in this case did receive additional threats prior to this incident," La Verne University spokesman Rod Leveque said.

Police have increased patrol on the campus and told students to be aware of their surroundings and call the department if they see any unusual activity on or near campus.

No further details were available on the reported attack. Police did not identify the victim or say how old she is.

“Our hearts really go out to the students—both who were the victim in this case and all the other students who are concerned about what happened," Leveque said.

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