- BC Games
UBC: Fourth sexual assault reported at Vancouver campus
A 17-year-old woman was sexually assaulted at UBC on Friday night – the third such case in as many weeks at the Vancouver campus.
The young woman was walking to Placer Vanier residence in the 2500 black of West Mall when she was grabbed by a man who ripped at her clothing, groped her under her skirt and reportedly tried to drag her into the woods (according to campus newspaper The Ubyssey).
The man punched her in the face, but she was able to fight him off and screamed. He fled, and she returned to her residence to call 911.
(*UPDATE: On Sunday, The Ubyssey reported a fourth sexual assault, which reportedly occurred on Saturday morning while a student was walking to campus. The student paper said it has confirmed the fourth assault, but has not released student's name or the source and the "attack had not yet been reported to law enforcement," meaning the University RCMP.)
University RCMP Sgt. Drew Grainger said there are striking similarities between all three recent attacks, although the descriptions of the suspects has varied.
"What is most striking is the method of the attack, it's been a woman alone, she's been approached from behind and tried to drag into an area while the attacker tries to get his hands under the woman's skirt," Grainger said. "What's disturbing about this one is that the level of violence has increased, where clothing has been ripped and the girl was punched in the face... we're very, very concerned about this.
The assailant is described as Caucasian, late 20s to early 30s, approximately 6'2" tall with a thin build. The woman said he had short, cropped hair and was wearing jeans and a hoodie, and had what sounded like an American accent.
"Here at UBC RCMP this is our top priority, to try to resolve these attacks," Grainger said in a written statement. "We are engaged with many partner law enforcement agencies to attempt to identify and apprehend the person or persons responsible for these attacks."
The RCMP has since issued a bulletin entitled, "Third reported assault – don't walk alone at night".
"Travel with friends to get to and from your destination, look out for each other and don't let your friends walk alone," the notice says (signed at the bottom by UBC Campus Security director Barry Eccleton and student services director Janet Teasdale).
Trust your instincts, if you feel that you may be in danger or witness suspicious activity, please call 911 immediately. It is important to contact the RCMP right away, as time is critical to this investigation.
In the three reported incidents, the women screamed for help and resisted, which scared off the assailant.
Tips on any of the incidents are being received through the University RCMP at 604-224-1322 or through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.