SFU increasing campus security as Burnaby RCMP search for assault suspect
Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:02PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 16, 2019 7:04PM PDT
SFU says its campus security team is increasing patrols around trails, student residences and other campus housing in light of an attack on a 19-year-old woman that happened Sunday evening.
Safety alerts have also been posted on trailheads around the Burnaby campus alerting anyone in the area about the attack.
The 19-year-old woman was walking on a trail near University Drive and West Campus Road around 8:30 p.m. Sunday when a man allegedly approached her, tried to engage in conversation, then attempted to grab her hand.
According to the safety alert posted by SFU, the man tried to pull the woman into the bushes before she was able to escape.
The woman was able to run to a parking lot for help, but Burnaby RCMP noted the suspect continued to follow her, until he drove off in a black or grey four-door Acura.
Students at SFU were alerted to the attack by an email from the school on Monday.
“I feel fine but if I’m going to go out now at 8:30 at night I’ll make sure to take precautions and have my boyfriend or a friend with me,” said SFU student Christa Klingensmith. “Overall we’re okay, staff is really great, there are signs everywhere.”
Klingensmith notes that she and other female friends are already used to taking precautions to protect their safety, including not walking alone in some places at night.
“I was a bit scared just because I was here on Saturday until 8:30 p.m.,” said student Freshta Ahmadzai. “Generally nothing happens up here, in my opinion, but it’s still kind of unsettling.”
The suspect in the attack is described as South Asian, between 19 and 23 -years-old, with a clean-shaven face. He was wearing a black turban, a blue long sleeve shirt, grey sweatpants and black sandals at the time of the attack, according to police.
Anyone who may have been in the area who has information or DashCam footage should call Burnaby RCMP.
“The victim is shaken. Frightening, right,” said Cpl. Michael Kalanj with Burnaby RCMP during a press conference Monday afternoon “There’s no injury and she’s going to be okay.”
Until the suspect is caught, police are asking people in the SFU area to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police right away.