The assailant remains at large after attacking the woman on Spruce Street. Philadelphia and University Police are currently on the hunt for a young man believed to be responsible for a sexual assault last Saturday on the 4300 block of Spruce Street. The assailant allegedly attempted to rape the victim, a young female with no affiliation to Penn. She was not harmed physically during the incident. Police were not able to release any additional information about the woman. The assailant allegedly followed the victim as she walked west on Spruce Street from 40th Street sometime around 2:45 p.m. last Saturday, University Police Chief Maureen Rush said. The alleged perpetrator began asking personal questions of the victim as she proceeded down the street, eventually asking to use a bathroom in her residence, Rush said. According to an e-mail sent by Penn Police as a safety alert to various members of the University community, it was then that the alleged attacker assaulted the young woman. "The male gave the impression that he was leaving, just before he attacked the victim in the vestibule of her apartment building," Penn Det. Larry Singer wrote in the e-mail. The victim fended off the attacker and avoided a potential rape by screaming loudly, Rush said. Following the attack, the victim immediately contacted the Philadelphia Police Department, which responded to the scene and is leading the investigation. The suspect is described as a clean-shaven 18-to-25-year-old black male, 5'10"-6' tall, with a thin build, bushy hair and medium complexion. He was wearing dark-colored clothing. University Police, who are now assisting in the investigation, were alerted about the incident late Wednesday evening when PPD officials asked to review the Penn Police's closed circuit television camera tapes from the area to identify potential suspects, Rush said. "We're working closely with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit to assist their investigation," she added. "We are just assisting them with any information we can provide, and certainly helping out with patrols in trying to track down a possible suspect." Rush said the traumatic experience was difficult for the victim to handle from an emotional standpoint. "She's certainly shaken," Rush said. University Police are now adding additional uniformed and plainclothes patrols in the area to increase the level of security in the wake of the attack. They're also taking additional care to review closed-circuit television video tapes of the neighborhood to identify potentially suspicious behavior, Rush added. And the e-mail sent by Singer is being distributed to members of the University community to heighten awareness of potential dangers and "make sure that the community is aware until [the perpetrator] is caught," Rush said. Special care is being paid to the case since the assault took place in an area where many University students live. "This could have very easily been a Penn person involved so our goal is to make an apprehension soon," Rush said.Comments powered by Disqus
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