The Division of Public Safety advises students to be cautious after an attempted rape Monday morning in Fairmount Park against a female jogger, unaffiliated with the University.
At about 8:20 a.m., an unknown suspect — described as a muscular Hispanic male between 5 feet and 8 to11 inches tall, wearing a black hoodie and dark pants — reportedly attempted to rape a 17 -year-old female in Fairmount Park near the Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy communities, according to a crime bulletin from the Philadelphia Police Department.
“The woman was very brave and very smart and was able to get out of the situation” using Rape Aggression Defense techniques, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
Though the incident occurred outside of Penn’s Patrol Zone, which extends from 30th Street to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue to Market Street, Rush said students should remain cautious, especially when jogging in Fairmount Park areas.
Philadelphia Police have also been advising city residents to remain cautious. To this end, they have been reminding residents of four unsolved crimes from 2003 to 2007 — two rapes, an attempted rape and a rape-murder, all of which went unsolved and were committed by the same individual against females in park settings. These crimes are not thought to be connected to Monday morning’s incident.
“We have a lot of [students and faculty] who jog” in parks, Rush said. “We want [them] to be cognizant” of the incident.
Rush also advised students to be aware of their surroundings while jogging, as well as have a jogging partner, carry a cell phone and register for Penn Guardian — a service that provides GPS information to Penn Police when an emergency number is called on a cell phone — at publicsafety.upenn.edu.