UT police urge safety after reported sexual assault

5:08 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR-Knoxville) Authorities have recorded two sexual assault cases on Knoxville's greenways in the past three weeks. Now, the University of Tennessee Police Department is reminding students and residents to be extra cautious on campus.

Tuesday, a jogger near campus said a man who was running next to hear grabbed her breast and ran off.

The assault happened in broad daylight, around 12:30 in the afternoon, similar to the sexual assault at Ijams Nature Center on August 14th, when a man sexually assault a woman in front of her 2-year-old daughter.

Since then, the Knoxville Police Department has increased patrols at the city's parks and greenways.

The University of Tennessee said Tuesday's reported attack is a reminder of the importance of taking safety precautions.

While officers patrol the campus 24-7, seven days a week, officials said new and returning students should remember to walk in well-lit areas and travel in pairs.

"It makes you less likely to be a target. Having somebody else to watch out for you, if they see something suspicious, they can let you know. Just another set of eyes and ears," said Kelly Mihalik, with UT Police.

Mihalik said there are 100 blue light phones on campus, so if someone does not have their cell phone, they still have a way to call 911.

She said students and residents should also follow the department's Twitter and Facebook pages, where crime logs are published.

"They can keep track of what's happening in the area," said Mihalik. "We also send messages."

UT Police alerted students Tuesday.

The man is described as in his 60s with a tan complexion, an athletic build, and short grey hair. He was wearing a red tank top with a black stripe and black gym shorts.

The Knoxville Police Department has not tracked down the suspect from the sexual assault at Ijams Nature Center.

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(WBIR-Knoxville) A jogger near UT's campus says a man ran up to her and sexually assaulted her Tuesday afternoon.

KPD says it happened on the Third Creek Greenway leading to the trial gardens on the ag campus.

The woman says she was running around 12:30. She says the man was jogging next to her, ran closer to her, grabbed her breast and then fled toward the trial gardens. The victim says she saw the man a half hour later behind the Dougherty Engineering Building.

He is described as white and in his 60s with a tan complexion and an athletic build with short grey hair. He was wearing a red tank top with a black stripe and black gym shorts.

UT students received a safety alert following the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Knoxville Police Department at (865) 215-7000.


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