Police have released surveillance video, and stepped up patrols at Chapman University in Orange, in connection with a reported attempted sexual assault late last week.
An 18-year-old Chapman student said she was assaulted by a man, who was wearing a skeleton mask and an all-black outfit, outside of Henley Hall shortly before 1 a.m. Friday while she was talking on the phone with her boyfriend.
The victim, who wants to remain anonymous, said she saw her attacker lingering around and at first she thought he was a friend who was trying to prank her.
“He takes a few more steps closer … I’m like ‘OK, this is not a friend of mine, this is actually not good.’ And he punches me in the face and I hit the trash can behind me,” she told KTLA.
Police said after the attack, the woman fell to the ground and the assailant touched her intimate parts.
“It was a violent attack where she fought back and screamed and he fled the area,” Sgt. Phil McMullin of the Orange Police Department said.
On Monday, police released a video of a man who they are calling a possible suspect in the attack.
The video shows a man walking down a sidewalk in an area that police said was about a half a mile away from where the woman was attacked, in the area of Glassell Street and Maple Avenue.
In the video, the man isn’t wearing a skeleton mask, but police believe he may have taken it off after the attack.
Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to call the Orange Police Department at 714-744-7444.
University officials offered these tips to students:
- Travel in pairs, especially in remote areas.
- Students can request Safe Ride and Safe Walk, a service for students needing an escort on foot around campus.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Immediately report any suspicious person to the Department Public Safety or the local Police Department.
- Download the free Rave Guardian safety app.
Students who have been victims of sexual violence on campus can speak to the Chapman Sexual Assault Information Line at 714-744-7000, Student Psychological Counseling Services at 714-997-6778 or Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Counselor Dani Smith at 714-744-7080.