U-M student sexually assaulted in 6th recent attack in Ann Arbor
A University of Michigan student was grabbed from behind and fondled by a man as she was walking to her car Tuesday night in a parking lot in the 700 block of South State Street, a university police crime alert said.
The 21-year-old victim broke free, ran to an apartment and called police, authorities said. She was not injured in the 11:30 p.m. attack.
It's unclear whether it's related to five other recent attacks on women in the city between July 15 and July 18, Ann Arbor police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said. Tuesday night's attack occurred in the same block as the first of the two rapes on July 18.
About 12:40 a.m. July 18, an 18-year-old Ann Arbor woman was returning from a party and walking in the 700 block of South State Street when a man grabbed her, pulled her behind a wall and raped her, police said. About 10:30 p.m. that night, a man followed a 26-year-old Ypsilanti woman into an elevator in the Liberty Square parking structure and raped her.
Three other women were assaulted between 10:10 p.m. July 15 and 2 a.m. July 16 on Thompson Street, North Division Street and Greenwood Avenue. In all cases, women walking alone were attacked late at night or early in the morning and apparently targeted at random.
Remy Sarhan, 20, who is going to be a junior at U-M in the fall, said Tuesday's attack occurred right outside her apartment building.
"Our parking lot is very scary to walk to even if you're just grabbing something from your car," she said. "It's very dark back there and very secluded. My friends and I never walk alone. You just never know what's gonna happen."
In the latest case, the attacker was described as tan, 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall, with no facial hair. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, blue jeans and black sunglasses, the alert said.
Police released a composite sketch last week of the man believed to be responsible for the first of the two rapes on July 18. Investigators have three other composite sketches, one of which is expected to be released at a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. today on the 4th floor of the justice center at 301 East Huron Street, Bush said. Police said they are not sure how many attackers there are.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in any of the attacks.
Anyone with information can call the Ann Arbor Police Department's confidential tip line at (734) 794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) SPEAK UP.
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.